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The Swords of Silence the

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Member Reviews

Well I wasn't expecting this what a stunning book.Set in Japan in 1626 it tells the story of Portuguese Jesuit Priest Father Joaquim Martinez.Although Christianity has been outlawed for 10 years Martinez lives quietly in a small village of Japanese Christians seeing to their spiritual welfare. helping them in the fields and generally living a quiet life.
However there is a new Shogun who is determined to stamp out Christianity and reduce all foreign influences her orders his Warlords to stamp it out by any means.These were brutal times in general and the peasants were seen as existing only to serve their lords and masters.The brutality of the persecution is awful and the writer does not flinch from depicting it in all its horror.,none are safe women and children tortured and mutilated to illicit information ,depictions not for the faint hearted.
The fact that this has been meticulously researched by Curry and is all based on fact makes it all the more horrendous.It takes a bit of a shift in understanding by the reader who may not be used to how important religion was to people 400 years ago.
This is a fast paced exciting tale and if some of the episodes were the fleeing christians escape capture  seem almost miraculous remember this is how those involved would have viewed it.
This is the first book in a trilogy I cant wait for the next instalment.
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Swords and Silence is a brutal story about the persecution of Christians in Japan, when the Shogun Imeitsu was fearful of foreign intervention from the Portugesse and the Dutch. This was an age after the Sengoku Jidhai, the civil war of Japan’s warlords had ended. In a way, Father Joaquim was one of the most bravest characters in the book. No matter what came in his way, whether it was through the storms, the tortures, he possessed a mind like Lincoln. Why do I compare them two?

Because they faced extreme adversity even when the world wasn’t on their side. Lincoln fought to preserve the Union whereas Joaquim was determined to protect the Christians he knew. Shaun did a fantastic job with the research of the novel, especially depicting the power of the Japanese Warlords and I could not help but wonder what about the warlords of Europe as well? Did they not loot and pillage villages for the sake of power? Had the Japanese Lords met with the European Feudal Lords, there would have been a lot for them to agree on. What would that be? Wealth, exploitation of the people, and power to the highest authority on land.

I did feel some scenes were not given attention too much, considering that this topic itself is a vast subject by itself. There could have been multiple reasons the Shogun did persecution and it made me wonder, looking at how Japan has become so successful today, and examining its history as a world power arising from the 1904-05 war, what would have happened had the Shogun not barred entry to the Western Powers? What if we saw an alternate history where the Japanese sent their Christians to America? That was in an Eric Flint novel where I had read, or if the Shogun had declared religious tolerance, what kind of Japan would we be seeing now? The possibilities are endless.

There is a wonderful message of religions helping each other out. I will no spoil this, but this is the era of the 1600s and life was brutal for anyone living in that period whether you were a King, Court, Scholar, Emperor. If you’re thinking this novel has Samurai of course it does. But it has brutal warlords, samurai wanting power, and a lot of pesky and stupid governors as we all know what they’re likely going to do. But then again, this was also common in Medieval Korea and the Ming Empire.

I found this an amazing novel. The character prose, the writing style, everything was so well researched it felt at times I was watching a movie. I really enjoyed this.

Thank you to Harper Inspire, Bengono Bessla, Harper Collins for sending me this novel. I was really impressed with the attention to detial and a massive thank you to Shaun. I really really really enjoyed it.

Don’t miss this novel. Take it, buy it. It teaches you a fundamental lesson in life that cannot be explained in simple words.

My rating: 5/5
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For some reason this book appeared in the sci fi section of recommendations for me and it’s certainly not that, what it is in fact is well told, well written historical drama utilising facts from the historical period and entwining then into an exciting, dramatic and violent tale, reminiscent of James Clavell but with the violence of Eric Von Lustbaders books, it was a refreshing change and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it
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I am aware of at least some of the real people portrayed and admit to checking to see what genre this book fell in as I had enormous difficulty believing it to be Historical Fiction. Hysterical Fiction more like as it read like a Religious Fantasy novel. 

Whilst I did finish the book, when reading fiction, one needs to be able to willingly suspend disbelief but this book made it impossible and my face must have been a picture of my incredulity. 

The spoken words and their tone were hard to believe. The characters were as shallow as the people they portrayed and so hard to believe in. As to the miracles, do not get me started. Rated 2 stars rather than 1 because my disbelief persuaded me to complete the book.
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