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18 November 2013

Year of the Demon (Fated Blades #2)

Year of the Demon by Steve Bein is the second book in his Fated Blades series - revolving around ancient Samurai swords created by the Inazuma, who put so much into each blade he created that the blades were though to have magical properties.

Detective Sergeant Oshiro Mariko of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department works in narcotics. She is famous in the papers for a sword fight she had against a yakuza enforcer that ended in his death. In her latest case she is about to join a SWAT raid of a drug buy at a warehouse owned by the Kamaguchi-gumi.

Okuma Diagoro is a Samurai who lives in the late 1500s. He inherited the sword, Divine Victory Unsought, from his father. The sword will help the wielder win every battle - as long as it is an honorable fight and not for glory.

Kaida, an Ama diver who lives in a fishing village in the late 1400s. She is a young girl who spends her days diving for oyster and abalone. But she dreams of getting out of her village where her step-sisters make her life hell. Her only consolation is that she is a better diver than they are, even with only one hand. When outsiders come to her village in search of something lost, she may get her wish.

All three main characters, separated by time, are linked by either Glorious Victory Unsought, or by a demon mask that seems to seek the sword. Each of their lives will be greatly changed by the intention that apparently comes from the mask by altering the desires of its wearer.

Bein has created an amazing series combining mystery, Japanese history, and compelling characters. This series will appeal to many readers and each one will likely wait impatiently for the next installment of the Fated Blades series. This is a read-alike for the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hern.

Bein, Steve. (2013). Year of the Demon. New York: A Roc Book.

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