I am always looking for diversity in my reading; sometimes I feel like I am reading about the same people, places and time periods. These books tend to blur together. Enter, Betrayal at Iga by Susan Spann, which I have the pleasure of being on the blog tour for today!
This novel is incredibly different from anything I have read lately; part mystery, part historical fiction, this novel finds itself in Japan in the 1500s. Master ninja, Hiro Hattori and his “sidekick” Jesuit priest, Father Mateo find themselves with an enemy to make a peace treaty. This turns South when that man is murdered, war is pending and the duo is in a race against time to find the true killer before all hell breaks loose.
I know nothing about Japan or Japanese culture, so I found this one incredibly interesting. Spann stays true to her time period and presents things very traditionally in this novel. I loved the descriptions of the setting and I felt like these characters were very clearly different from anything I have been reading lately.
Unfortunately, this novel is the fifth in the series featuring Hiro Hattori and I struggled a little bit connecting; this novel delves right into the action! Spann does do a really good job ensuring that some backstory is given and characters fully explain their motivations, but I struggled a little bit initially.
Another feature that I both loved and hated about this novel was the language. Spann is very authentic in her writing and uses a plethora of Japanese terminology within the text. I felt like this was both cool and irritating. I loved how true to the culture she was within her prose but felt annoyed every time I needed to flip back and forth to check a term (she includes a glossary in the back of the book). This was a personal preference for me; I don’t like flipping back and forth as it throws me right out of the story.
Overall, I felt like this was a genuinely diverse read!
Thanks for the copy that was sent to me for review; it was my pleasure to read it and review it honestly.