Young Samurai is the story of a young English boy, Jack Fletcher, who travels to Japan in the early 17th century. He is shipwrecked when his father and the rest of the crew are murdered by ninja, and is stranded there. He has to train to become the first foreign samurai warrior, so that he can survive long enough to find his way to Nagasaki and find a ship back to England.
Naturally he struggles to be accepted, being an outsider, making some enemies amongst the other students, but also making good friends too. He also has an enemy in a deadly ninja assassin who wants his father's secret log book.
In the fifth Young Samurai novel "The Ring of Water", Jack has already left samurai school after a war and has started on his journey westwards. Jack visits Nara where he is captured and challenged to a game of Go by a Japanese lord. The game forms a important part of the story in which Jack’s life and those of his friends are at stake if he loses. Despite only just learning the game, and being given only a four-stone handicap, Jack tries to use his samurai training to overcome the stronger opponent. But will he succeed? Read the book to find out!
"The Ring of Water" by Chris Bradford was published in paperback on 3rd March 2011 by Puffin Books (ISBN 978-0-141-33254-3) RRP £6.99.
Chris Bradford is an English expert in martial arts and author of the teenage book series Young Samurai, published by Puffin Books. The series has received many accolades, including being one of Puffin’s Best Ever books For Children, alongside Treasure Island and Robin Hood. If you have not read the books yet then check them out at the Young Samurai website.
If you have read "The Ring of Water" and want to know more about Go and how it features in the story then visit our Ring of Water page. If you have not read the book, beware it contains spoilers.