CHILD OF VENGEANCE is the first in a planned series of historical thrillers inspired by the life of an infamous samurai warrior, Musashi Miyamoto, in the feudal Japan of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Musashi, regarded as one of the finest swordsmen in Japanese history, was a radical thinker as hated as he was admired simply because he believed that the ideal of a samurai should be to live, grow stronger and to better himself.
We meet the young warrior at thirteen and follow him in his participation a handful of years later in the Battle of Sekigahara – a tremendous clash in 1600 between Japan’s feudal Lords which paved the way for the last shogunate ever to control the country.
This is a novel bristling with set pieces and characters locked into a powerful and emotive triangle: a high-born but lonely teenage boy with a skin condition that makes him feel disconnected from the rest of his village; his famous warrior father who abandoned his son and the village in the wake of a fire that, seemingly, killed his wife; the monk who is left to pick up the pieces and raise the boy as best he can. Kirk retells the story getting as much mileage as possible out of the gaps in the record to write an original and absorbing, constantly surprising thriller.
"A fascinating, exciting book, beautifully observed. Kirk creates characters of great depth. An absolute gem". - Conn Iggulden
"Mr Kirk restores my faith in historical fiction to bring lost worlds to life. Bravo! The keenest and most vivid evocation of the inner life of the East since James Clavell's Shogun" - Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
"A brilliant piece of historical fiction - loaded with treachery and betrayal - that pulses with life. This one is going to find an honoured place on so many a keeper shelf. It's a must-read debut from an exciting new voice" - Steve Berry, author of The Templar Legacy and The Columbus Affair