What the cool kids are reading....
This SCJBA nominee is actually the third book in a series though the reader can understand events with no prior knowledge.
I found this book interesting but overall felt the plot was a bit underdeveloped. The mystery begins with the murder of Lord Inaba. Everyone is baffled as to how someone could sneak into his castle, slip unnoticed into his heavily guarded room and murder the king in his sleep.More mysterious is the bloodstained origami butterfly left behind. When 14-year-old Seikei (a Samurai in training) and his sponsor, Judge Ooka, investigate the murder, they find themselves treated poorly by the royal court. What secret are they hiding?
Faced with a journey that includes great physical challenges, intrigue, and danger, Seikei is ready to prove himself worthy of the title of "Samurai" - even if it means losing his life in the pursuit of justice and honor.
Students who enjoy Japanese culture, ninjas, shoguns, and samurai stories will enjoy this mystery/adventure. I feel that the companion books should be read in order for the reader to really connect with the text. This genre is rapidly gaining popularity with young teens.