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Download The Fire Kimono: A Novel (Sano Ichiro Novels) epub

by Laura Joh Rowland

Japan, March 1700. Near a Shinto shrine in the hills, a windstorm knocks down a tree to uncover a human skeleton, long buried and forgotten. Meanwhile, in the nearby city of Edo, troops ambush and attack Lady Reiko, the wife of Sano Ichiro, the samurai detective who has risen to power and influence in the shogun’s court. The troops who attacked Reiko appear to belong to Sano’s fiercest enemy, Lord Matsudaira, who denies all responsibility. But if the rivals are not to blame for each other’s misfortune, who is?Just as Sano’s strife with Matsudaira begins to escalate to the brink of war, the shogun orders Sano to investigate the origins of the mysterious skeleton, buried with swords that identify it as belonging to the shogun’s cousin, who disappeared forty years earlier on the night that a cursed kimono touched off a fire that nearly destroyed the city.Suddenly, Sano and Reiko are forced to confront dangerous, long-buried secrets that expose Sano’s own mother as the possible culprit. The shogun gives Sano and Reiko just three days to clear her name—or risk losing not only their position at court but their families’ lives.

Download The Fire Kimono: A Novel (Sano Ichiro Novels) epub
ISBN: 031237948X
ISBN13: 978-0312379483
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Language: English
Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (November 11, 2008)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1812 kb
FB2 size: 1366 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 517
Other Formats: azw docx lrf mbr

I find Laura Joh Rowland's Sano Ichiro series entertaing. There is always a hint of a formula being used; Sano is at odds with his opponent in the Shogun's court, it is dangerous for his family and himself, the odds are against him but good shall always prevail. Oh! And there's always a bit of kinky sex. This may sound a bit too corny but Rowland manages to use this formula in ways that can end up keeping you enthralled, on the edge of your seat (as it were) wondering how the hell it's all going to work out. Rowland writes in a style that moves forward at a steady pace and manages to realistically evoke daily life in Seventeenth Century Japan. "The Fire Kimono" is no exception, in fact I feel it is the best of her books so far. The remains of a body are exposed after a tree falls in a storm. The remains turn out to be that of the Shogun's cousin who went missing during the Great Fire of Edo (itself described quite powerfully). Sano is charged with finding out what happened. Digging up the past never really turns out well but who could have foreseen the mess this accidental turning up of old bones brings about. Sano's own mother is accused of murder amidst a torrid play for power in the court and you know things are going to get quite desperate before it gets better. It's gripping. It's good.
This is the thirteenth novel in Rowland's Sano Ichiro detective series, the twelfth I've read - some near-universal pans of the immediately-preceding, "The Snow Empress," kept me away from it, though after reading "The Fire Kimono" I'm picking that one up, reviews be hanged.

"The Fire Kimono" is easily among the best of Rowland's Ichiro series. It lacks the atmospheric richness of "Bundori," (the second book and still my favorite to date,) or the intricacy of "Pillow Book Of Lady Wisteria" (the seventh, and my second-fave,) but has some of the best plotting and political intrigue of the series, a bunch of startling yet logical twists, and some deftly-woven flashbacks that are irresistible in their dramatic/tragic intensity. Where some of the previous books rested heavily on the arbitrary outcomes of climactic battles, the climactic resolution of "Fire Kimono" rests on causality - a carefully-laid trap by Ichiro that's as edifying a logic puzzle as those in Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes mysteries or Asimov's science fiction and "Black Widowers" shorts. That kind of thing is just like catnip to me.

The returning cast of characters is noticeably stronger here than in previous volumes too - though of necessity Lady Reiko takes a disappointing bench-warming role this time out. Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi is more active and decisive than ever - a refreshing change from his largely buffoon-like and malleable weakness earlier in the series - and Sano has matured nicely, particularly in his elaborate trap that becomes the climactic scenes. Stand-up-and-cheer table-turning is long overdue and a great thing to witness from a hero who's ordinarily subdued, low-key and angsty, kind of like a Japanese Harrison Ford - and the more striking for that contrast.

All in all an excellent installment that's got me itching for the next.
I read this book as part of book club monthly selection. The story was okay, and the characters engaging, but I felt more like I was in modern times, not in 1700's japan. I think it was the dialogue, I don't think children in japan call their parents mama and papa? But what really threw me off was the very abrupt ending. To have the Shogun just step between the two main characters and say- okay stop fighting now - and they do! It made me yell aloud - What? However, in all
fairness, the other people in my book club liked some of the first books in this series, especially the one thru three. This was
number 13 in the series, and sometimes the story suffers because of that fact.
Its an excellent book, but if you haven't read the series yet, this isn't where you want to begin. I would suggest start from the beginning because there is a lot of back story behind each character. If you were to start from the fire kimono then you would be trying to figure out the intricacies of each character and how their relationships tie into each other. You will be stuck scratching your head and wondering why things are happening the way they are.

But the story is quickly paced and I finished the book in three days. Each time I put it down I was compelled to pick it back up and read two more chapters after it.
I truly enjoyed this mystery....It is set in the 1600s which made the lives of the people at that time an added interest--the emperor, customs and samurai lives. I had no idea the author had written 30 books for this "detective" of early days and this was the first one I had read but it is number 13...More good books ahead to read!
The first six or seven of the Ichiro Sano books were great. Don't miss them.
Now, starting with The Dragon King's Palace, each is more predictable and improbable, at the same time. In this last one, The Fire Kimono, you can see it coming from the first pages.
If you haven't yet, get Bundori, Shinju or The Way of the Traitor. Or even better, all three.
Laura Joh Rowland has once again written a great mystery. She takes you on a journey through medieval Japan and puts San Ichiro into another great mystery. I definitely would recommend this book.
Ms. Rowland continues to entertain