Share for friends:

The Way Of The Traitor (2001)

The Way of the Traitor (2001)

Book Info

3.89 of 5 Votes: 1
Your rating
0061010901 (ISBN13: 9780061010903)

About book The Way Of The Traitor (2001)

It's fun to read historical fiction set in places you only know a little about, and the author does seem to have done her research. However, the mystery is I suppose competent enough, but more workmanlike than anything else, and the characters are acceptable but uninspired.The setting here is engrossing. Tokugawa Japan balanced on a knife's edge, trying to protect itself from European guns and ideas by being rabidly isolationist. This balancing act is the core of the book, as Sano tries to solve a mystery when the Dutch are convinced that the Japanese are responsible and the Japanese very much want a foreigner to be responsible. Unfortunately, while the characterization and pacing are there, and aren't terrible, they're also kind of clumsy. We have awkward flashbacks that reveal various possible motives. We have two or three scenes where a key character's identity is kept from us artificially. We have a pretty much unneeded prologue. And we have a protagonist and a supporting character who repeat their paper-thin motivations to us again and again and again. It doesn't make the motivations any less boneheaded. Sano's insistence on refusing his second-in-command's help comes across as just stubbornness instead of nobility--he's being an idiot, especially within the Bushido code. He has a big epiphany and they totally kiss and make up, with less kissing. Maybe there should have been kissing.Look, the book works ok. It's not terribly flawed. It's fine, it's just kinda lackluster. I wouldn't warn people away, but I probably also will skip the rest of the series.

"What shall I choose to read on our 13 hour flight to Tokyo?," I thought as I looked through the available books downloaded onto the Kindle. This seemed the obvious choice.I have enjoyed the previous two books in the series (although marked number 2 down for one passage that in my opinion, had no place in the book)and so it was that I chose to follow the steps of the Shoguns Sosakan-sama, the most Honourable Investigator of Events, Situations and People; Sano Ichiro. Now I might have missed something but I didnt see the purpose of the prologue or where it fitted into the story - other than to show that those things happened, which surely we already knew.The story was fast moving although I must confess that I didnt draw myself a character map and got some of the 'players' confused and wasnt sure who was under the command of who to do what.Nevertheless another most enjoyable book and as the authoress managed to create several particularly exciting passages , it added to the thrill of the read.The Concubines Tattoo awaits but I think that I will finish this trip off with something a little different.

Do You like book The Way Of The Traitor (2001)?

This is the third book in Rowland's historical mystery series featuring Sano Ichiro, a former police chief in late 17th century Japan who is now working as a detective for the Tokugawa regime. The Way of the Traitor centered around the murder of a Dutch trader in the harbor city of Nagasaki. There, the European traders are confined to the island of Deshima and allowed extremely limited contact with the Japanese. Sano's investigation leads him into great danger due to the complex politics and intrigue going on in Nagasaki.While this book had its interesting points, I didn't like it as much as the previous two novels in the series. I like the way the setting and circumstances of the murder allow Rowland to take a look at 17th century Japan's isolationist policies regarding the western world. Rowland is fairly critical of them, pointing out how the isolationism put the nation at a technological disadvantage and how the political situation resulting from the isolationism bred corruption, deceit, and suspicion. On the other hand, I thought the way Rowland set up the story was a little heavy-handed and contrived. I also thought the way the plot played out focused a bit too much on the perils Sano faced and not enough on the investigation of the murder. There was perhaps too much action at the expense of dete4ctive work and mystery solving. I still liked reading about the characters and the historical setting, though.

This third book in the series definitely got mixed reviews from Goodreads readers. I have read Rowland's books out of order, just because I bought them when I saw them. That having been said, The Way of the Traitor takes place in 1690 in Nagasaki, Sano Ichiro having been sent there by the evil lover of the Shogun. The Tokugawa regime is more corrupt than moral Sano can stand and so his life is constantly in danger. As the Shogun's chief detective, he arrives to find a prominent Dutch sailor has been killed and it is up to him to find out who is to blame. The governor of Nagasaki tells him it better be a barbarian and not a Japanese but Sano is determined to get to the truth of the murder even if it means the Dutch declare war on Japan.

2.5 stars.What I liked:1) The setting--Nagasaki in the 1600s, at a time when Japan was beginning to have trade relations with the Western world. This allowed for the exploration of some interesting tension between the Japanese and the Dutch traders, and Laura Joh Rowland did a great job of highlighting and explaining these tensions.2) Hirata's refusal to allow Sano to sideline him for his protection.What I didn't like:1) Sano's stupidity and naiveté! This man just bumbled from one self-made crisis to another. A man this clumsy in his investigations has no business being the Shogun's chief investigator! 2) The repetitiveness of the writing. From Sano's repetitive naval gazing, to the constant re-outlining of who the bad guys could be and what their motivation(s) might have been, I really did not feel like this novel was going anywhere most of the time. 3) Again, the device of someone always being out to get Sano. I get that we need roadblocks in order to keep the story tense, but crimony! Enough with the dastardly villain trying to take out personal revenge on Sano!

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Laura Joh Rowland

Other books in series Sano Ichiro

Other books in category Fiction