The Tokaido Road by Lucia St. Clair Robson

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

: Kat is a former noblewoman who now spends her days as a courtesan of the Floating World selling her body to pay her family's debts. She accepts this way of life, but she always keeps a close eye on those around in fear that the man who murdered her father may send someone for her life.

So when one of her clients dies from fugu poisoning that had been intended for her, she makes her escape and travels the Tokaido Road to meet up with one of late father's retainers to finally get revenge for her father. The journey is very dangerous as Kat has a hefty bounty on her head and encounters trouble at every corner. She dresses as a male monk, and prays that it will be enough to get her through the numerous guard stations along the road.

Short Thought: Adventure-filled plot, wonderfully rendered setting, just enough romance, and enough twists and turns to make it genius.

Extended Thoughts: I originally read this some time back in 2005-2006 and loved it so much I decided to read it again. The Tokaido Road was a pedestrian road that went from Tokyo to Kyoto and had tons of guarded stop stations (is that the term?) throughout the whole thing. It is one of my favorite topics of Japanese history. It has it all: adventure, romance, class conflict, revenge, and mystery.

Additional Notes: This is a stand-alone novel.

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