Read The Samurai's Wife by Laura Joh Rowland Online


Far from the Shogun's court at Edo, Most Honorable Investigator Sano Ichiro begins the most challenging case of his career. Upon the insistence of his strong-willed and beautiful wife Reiko, Sano arrives with her at the emperor's palace to unmask the murderer--who possesses the secret of kiai, "the spirit city," a powerful scream that can kill instantly. A high Kyoto officFar from the Shogun's court at Edo, Most Honorable Investigator Sano Ichiro begins the most challenging case of his career. Upon the insistence of his strong-willed and beautiful wife Reiko, Sano arrives with her at the emperor's palace to unmask the murderer--who possesses the secret of kiai, "the spirit city," a powerful scream that can kill instantly. A high Kyoto official is the victim. Treading carefully through a web of spies, political intrigue, forbidden passions, and intricate plots, Sano and Reiko must struggle to stay ahead of the palace storm--and outwit a cunning killer. But as they soon discover, solving the case means more than their survival. For if they fail, Japan could be consumed in the bloodiest war it has ever seen...A legendary land comes alive in this compelling murder mystery set in seventeenth-century Japan. Filled with finely drawn characters and suspenseful plot twists, The Samurai's Wife is a novel as complex, vivid, and artful as the glorious, lost world it portrays....

Title : The Samurai's Wife
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312974480
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Samurai's Wife Reviews

  • Alcornell
    2019-05-30 03:21

    Sano and Reiko become soul partners, committing to each other in ways which were impossible in feudal Japan. The events of this story are not completely implausible, but the action allowed in the relationship between the two spouses is purely contemporary, impossible. I read this story in January, 2000, and in March have already forgotten whodunnit....oh yeah, it comes back to me...What I did find interesting was the relationship arc developed in the storyline of the prime minister. The author tries in this story to work out a psychological explanation for the action of our hero's nemesis. I admire her courage in this, and I even liked her premise. However, no idea if the electricity between the Shogun's 2nd man and his lover will fly through the whole series. The real interest to me lay in the question of whether transformation (or transformative relationship) really transforms. The story itself seems to borrow from I, Claudius, but doesn't have time to go any distance with this, so it falls, deflated, unspent. Probably too many story lines, lack of restraint on the author's part. She wrote the beginnings of at least 3 novels in this book. Sorry, Laura, but in this murder case, no cigar. I'm moving on to the next Sano Ichiro novel. (Hoping the series tightens and brightens up. )

  • Shari
    2019-06-13 03:19

    This is the first book in the series that is set in Kyoto (or Miyako, as it is properly called in the novel). The story takes a slightly different angle in this installment. Finally, things come to a head between Sano and his nemesis, Yanagasiwa, who just takes great pleasure and pain in sabotaging Sano’s work. After all Yanagisawa’s plotting and hating, he gets himself right smack into Sano’s investigation and finds himself not so great after all. Through blackmail, he ends up working with Sano for a change and in the end he comes to understand something about the detective, and his own self, that leads to a sort of truce, even possible friendship, between the two. A somewhat similar transition, on emotional level, happens between Sano and his wife, Reiko. At the end, this two will come to learn more about each other and the fragility of their marriage. This development in the characters is what pulled me into the narrative along with the lush, vivid description of Kyoto in the Edo period. Here and there in the story are bits of history of the ancient capital and the life in the imperial court under the control of the bafuku.

  • Spuddie
    2019-06-26 00:23

    I had read the first few books in this series several years ago, beginning enthusiastically and with each successive book getting less enthralled. I'm all about second chances so decided to give this a try again, but after giving it an extra-long chance and reading about 100 pages (I generally have a 50-page rule) I decided to give up. I am not even really sure what drove me away...there is something about the author's writing style or how she portrays the main characters that just turns me off and leaves me disinterested.

  • Serge Pierro
    2019-06-21 01:14

    The chemistry between Sano Ichiro and Reiko starts to develop. Being interested in feudal japan and samurai, I find this series of books to be well researched and Rowland is able to portray the setting convincingly. Fans of the CCG Legend of the Five Rings will find this series to be very interesting!

  • Dayna
    2019-06-16 07:04

    This was the worst book that I’ve read in quite a while. I have a bad habit of finishing books even when they are terrible, and I could not stop rolling my eyes while I read this. The writing is atrocious. The characters are one dimensional. Rowland has a terrible habit of telling instead of showing, so all the actions and motivations are over explained. The detective Sano jumps to conclusions all the time, so I’m not sure why we’re supposed to believe he’s good at his job. The romantic “attraction” between characters reads like terrible erotica with no pay off. The characters have random plot-convenient special powers (such as: “Yanagisawa, who had excellent vision and had mastered the art of lipreading, easily discerned the man’s words.”) What is this garbage? From a mystery standpoint, I guessed the killer immediately after the suspects were introduced. From a historical standpoint, this seems well-researched but reads as though Rowland learned a fact and felt the need to include it whether it was relevant or not. I can’t decide whether I’m more confused by the fact that this has such a high rating on Goodreads or that this is the fifth book in a series that people apparently enjoy. There are several more books in the series, but no surprise, I won’t be reading any others. It clearly isn’t for me.

  • Cindy
    2019-05-30 02:26

    This was a random find at the library book sale. I had heard of this series before, but never read it. I hate starting in the middle of the series, but for some reason I just jumped right in.Sano works for a shogun, but his rival has engineered an embarrassing situations that puts him out of favor. He gets a chance to recover face by investigating a mysterious death of a member of the Imperial Court in Kyoto. He takes his new wife Reiko with him and they set off to discover the truth.The investigation is a political landmine. His suspects - the emperor, his cousin, his mother, his father, and his consort. The weapon - kiai, a martial art that uses the voice as a weapon that can break bones and crush the heart. As if that weren't going to make the case tricky enough, his rival Yanigisawa shows up, Sano finds himself attracted to the former wife of the murder victim, and the emperor has definitely put Sano on the Do Not Invite list. As a historical novel, this one was really interesting. I know very little about the history of Japan, and I found the political drama to be intriguing. But as a believable story, it was lacking. The characters didn't really seem true to the time, and the story itself didn't proceed in a very probable manner. The whole thing was just a bit far-fetched.

  • John
    2019-06-07 02:27

    Man, I'm really enjoying this series. Rowland's magic lies in her ability to bring feudal Japan to convincing life in a vibrant, exciting way. She has really done her research, and it pays off in the way she uses each mystery novel in the series to introduce and explore new facets of Japanese culture. This entry even throws a slight mystical element into the mix. She also knows how to develop her characters well, and they evolve steadily with each book. Not quite as convincing are the mysteries themselves, which basically boil down to a lot of smoke and mirror games. Conveniently enough, each investigation begins with roughly the same amount of potential suspects, all of whom do something to appear incontrovertibly guilty at some point in the book, which of course serves to up the page count to the proper length. When the real killer is finally revealed, it never really feels as dramatic as it should. Too many instances of crying wolf before hand, I guess. Still, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in a different kind of detective story, this being the only series I know that features a samurai detective working for the Shogun.

  • Regina
    2019-05-31 02:34

    Introduction First off all let me tell you a bit about the translation: it was horrible. I don't know what they did at Lektűr but nothing good came out of it. First off all they decided to write the names according to their Hungarian pronunciation, which made me cringe more than a couple of times. And then there was the problem of missing words. Some sentences just were one or two word short so they ended up as an incomprehensible mess. That already made the book a bit difficult but that wasn't what cost it that too stars. Story So, after the antagonist of the book Yanagisawa manages to throw mud on Sano he has to prove himself by solving a very intricate crime in the emperor's court in Miyako. The case he has to solve is the murder of minister Konoe who was killed with the power of the spirit "roar", the kiai. Because he fears that his enemies would hurt his family he takes his wife Reiko along too, but Yanagisawa follows him to ruin yet another of his investigations and with this the detective himself too.

  • Michael Barnette
    2019-05-31 02:21

    I've read part of this series out of order due to the fact I wasn't able to find them all at my local bookstore. (I still haven't gotten a copy of #4 yet.) But the books are so well done that you don't really need to read them all sequentially. Having said that, you really should buy them all as everyone, including this one, has been an amazing read.This book too receives my highest recommendation, as like the others, it's a terrific read.Unfortunately I've since lost my copy of this book, but it's in my list of books to buy again so I have it on my keeper shelf.I truly love this series--being a Japanophile--and I'm so glad there are many others for me to buy and read.

  • Melora
    2019-05-28 04:29

    Again, I wish there were half-star ratings. This was more of a 2 1/2-star rating. I had a lot of difficulty getting into the writer's style. It was very choppy, and so simplistic that I wondered if it was aimed at young adults. The historical background was interesting, and some of the characters were intriguing, but the mystery was somewhat irritating. I felt that the author could have put all the murders suspects up on a wall and thrown a dart to pick the actual murderer; that's how random and unconvincing it seemed. There are other books with the same characters, also mysteries, and I think I'll probably avoid them.

  • Kimberly
    2019-06-05 03:29

    I am loving this series! I have always had a fascination for all things Samurai, and I love the way Ms. Rowland brings the Japanese culture and customs alive in this incredibly readable book. The main characters, Sano Ichiro and his wife Reiko are so endearing, I rooted for them throughout the story and I cringed when a situation or intense character threatened to harm one or the other of them. Ms. Rowland's descriptions are pure opulence and just like any good "period piece" I was transported to Miyako and dressing in my kimono.

  • Tocotin
    2019-05-28 03:11

    This book is awful. Stilted writing, implausible characters, bad research, no feeling of time and place. And I still love it. Maybe because of the m/m pairing which is much more interesting than the love between the main character and his wife, I don't know. I'm going to read it again despite all the improbabilities and glaring mistakes. The plot - a shogunate investigator suspecting the imperial family and telling them what to do, when in fact he wouldn't even be admitted into their presence - is ridiculous. So what. Lol.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-06 02:30

    I read this back in grade 8, and I loved this book! I couldn't wait to read more. I still remember most of the plot; a bit of mysticism, intimate relationships, loyalties and culture. Equally descriptive as well as sharing a large part of dialogue with it's own subtext. I can't remember much for grammar and syntax, but it wasn't as aware of it then as I am now. I recommend it to any reader looking for frequent twists, relatively defined characters and a look into another time and place.

  • Phyllis
    2019-06-07 07:17

    I liked this book a lot. I certainly learned a lot about Japanese culture at the time. The twists and turns kept me interested and I liked that you actually saw them follow leads that went no where. I wished there was a map of Miyako and a glossary. The author did a great job of explaining terms the first time they were used but I wanted to be able to look some of them up when I ran across them again.

  • Bonnie
    2019-06-17 01:29

    After reading the previous book in this series (The Concubine's Tattoo) I was thinking of quitting this series as there was a lot of explicit sex and unsavory details. However, I had read other books in the series that had nothing objectionable. So I decided to give this book a chance and was glad I did. There was one short part that I did skip when I saw it coming. Other than that, it was fine. The plot and characters were interesting and I enjoyed it.

  • Mike
    2019-06-08 01:27

    I've become accustomed to the adventures of Sano Ichiro, and Reiko. This one has a play of political intrigue, mixed with suspense and a good murder mystery. The story wraps up well. The title is the only thing that doesn't make too much sense to me. She does play a pivotal role in the story, and as I've not read these stories in sequence perhaps it's pretty much the introduction of Reiko as wife, but the book seems like it should have been titled differently.

  • Doreen
    2019-05-31 05:12

    Probably the messiest of the Sano Ichiro books to date. The predecessors (and the 16th) were a lot tauter in construction, and rang a lot truer emotionally: this one was a bit too soap-opera/contrived for me. I liked the ending, if not the reveal of who the killer was. A decent, if not terribly strong installment.

  • Shelly
    2019-06-26 23:28

    This book is much better than "The Concubine's Tattoo." The mystery is rich, and the setting of the Imperial Court is a good change from the palace of the shogun. I was hesitant to read another Sano Ichiro book after the dismal "Concubine's Tattoo", but I'm glad I took the chance.

  • Heather
    2019-06-22 06:28

    I really enjoyed this book - it flowed much better than the last one, maybe two books in the series. Very interesting character development with Yanigasawa; the multiple-suspect political intrigue worked very well also. Glad I decided to give the series another shot.

  • Rebecka
    2019-06-07 07:27

    It started slow for me and I struggled a bit. I almost stopped a couple of times but I have been to Nijo Castle and loved it so much and loved how the places were discribed that I finished it. I am glad I did and will read the next one.

  • Sandy Haemmerle
    2019-06-09 23:19

    would have given 3.5 stars if it was possible. enjoyed this one alright, but wasn't too blown away by the story ...

  • Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
    2019-06-14 06:25


  • Melody
    2019-06-05 23:26

    Sano gets married and his wife tends to get involved in the mysteries hat her police husband is trying to solve. The world of Sano, his wife and ancient Japan is culturally rich.

  • Tahira Carroll
    2019-05-29 23:23

    I guess I just expected a lot from this book and it was just okay, without expectations it might be a good read.

  • Tim
    2019-05-31 03:34


  • Laura
    2019-05-27 23:10

    Still enjoying the series.

  • Susan Dolinko
    2019-06-18 23:22

    Love this series, deep insight, unique and intrigue.

  • BasziK
    2019-06-20 07:22


  • Kim
    2019-06-21 02:23


  • Tom
    2019-06-19 03:27

    Sano #5