Saturday, July 2

Book Review: The Tokaido Road

Author:  Lucia St. Clair Robson
Title: The Tokaido Road
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 528
First Published: 1991 (the year I was born *throws confetti*)
Where I Got It: Library

"After the execution of her father, the young and beautiful Lady Asano is in grave danger from the powerful Lord Kira. In order to save herself Asano must find Oishi, the leader of the fighting men of her clan. She believes he is three hundred miles to the southwest in the imperial city of Kyoto.

Disguising her loveliness in the humble garments of a traveling priest, and calling herself Cat, Lady Asano travels the fabled Tokaido Road. Her only tools are her quick wits, her samurai training, and her deadly, six foot-long naginata. And she will need them all, for a ronin has been hired to pursue her, a mysterious man who will play a role in Cat's drama that neither could have ever imagined. . . ."

As you can tell, it took me forever to finish this one. Why? I have three good reasons. 1)It was a pretty big book with 544 pages of small print. 2)The small print gave me headaches. And 3) The first...300 pages kept putting me to sleep.  I'm not kidding, which is the sad thing.

When I heard about this book I was really excited and I couldn't wait to read it! Many people compared it to 'The Snow Fox'  and said so many good things about it! It's never good to go into a book with expectations and unfortunately I did.  Well, I will be blunt...this book was a huge let down. I had to force myself to continue reading. I found myself drifting and skimming a lot. However, the book did pick up a little bit when Hanshiro came into the picture. He reminded me a lot of Faramir from Lord of the Rings. I can't really explain why, but I kept picturing a Japanese version of him. It was...very interesting. ^.^

I guess this book just wasn't for me. I'm not sure why I didn't like it. It was full of adventure, romance, poems, funny one-liners, a great location, Samurais, revenge, fight scenes, and etc. But I just couldn't get into it.  I'm not saying I "hate" the book, I just didn't like it. I felt very distant with all the characters and the setting. I had a hard time visualizing the setting. Lucia St. Clair Robson did a wonderful job describing everything, but I guess my indifference got in the way. However, I did like the ending. It made me smile and it wrapped everything up nicely. 

Don't let my "blah" feeling about this book push you away from this. We all have different tastes. If you love Japanese history, romance, or just plain history you may enjoy this book. I do encourage you to try this book out so I can see what you think.  Out of five stars, I must grant this one 2 stars. 

favorite character(s): Hanshiro
not-so-favorite character(s): Old Jug Face and Oishi



Blodeuedd said...

How on earth did you finish? Almost falling asleep!? And small print to top it off *shudders* I have a book I really want to read but the text is tiny :(

Good of you to finish it! *applauds* :D

Carole Rae said...

Too be honest, I have no clue. Thanks! It took a lot of will-power