Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Tokaido Road by Lucia St. Clair Robson

Reviewed by Bryan Eichner

Main Character-Cat: Lady Asano- The daughter of the disgraced Lord Asano, who drew his sword in the house of a shogun and was forced to commit seppuku. Cat is hiding in a brothel when her food is poisoned and is forced to flee.

Main Character personality- Cat is condescending in the beginning, but gradually learns to appreciate the help from the peasantry and be patient with her journey.    

Point of View- First Person

Early Plot- After  Kira and Lord Asano get into an argument, Lord Asano draws his sword and  is forced to commit seppuku (suicide) for the crime of “drawing a sword in the house of a shogun.” Asano’s death usurps his family’s power and they are forced to live in poverty along with the 47 samurai under him. Asano’s daughter, Cat joins The Pleasure District brothel in order to support her mother through her hard times.  When a customer is poisoned by Kira’s men, Cat realizes that she is no longer safe at the brothel and leaves for The Tokaido Road.

Style/Pacing- Slow paced in the beginning, but picks up in the middle of the book and is very action driven.

Vulgarity/Violence?- PG-13. No cursing, but suggestive dialogue and sexual references. Mild violence with some death

Language/Writing- A  character-driven journey where Cat’s personality changes drastically  as she travels The Tokaido Road.

Issue Driven?- The changing environment and diminishing samurai culture. Honor in a corrupted society.