Book Review, Children's Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

Book Reveiw: The Black Lotus: The Samurai Wars by Kieran Fanning

Blurb on the back:

Ghost, Cormac and Kate are not like other kids. Ghost can turn invisible, Cormac can run up walls and Kate can talk to animals – all abilities which make them perfect recruits for the Black Lotus, a training school for ninjas. But when the Moon Sword – a source of unimaginable power – is stolen by samurai, the three are forced to put their new skills to the test in sixteenth-century Japan .

Short Review:

Martial arts, fantasy epic that’ll take you to a world similar to our own but one in which magic still holds sway, and ninjas are an underground movement of resistance fighters with magical powers, trying to save the world. There are magical swords, time travel and a bunch of plucky kids, each with a unique power, recruited and trained to be… NINJA. Boom! What’s not to like?

Longer Review:

We follow the fate of three kids, Ghost, Cormac and Kate, who all have unique freaky powers. They get recruited to be ninja and fight against an oppressive world dominating order, only that same power is trying to wipe out the ninja.

There are a number of things going on in this story that make it exciting. Firstly, it is set in an alternative fantasy world, very similar to our own, but one in which the Samurai of medieval Japan never went away. Instead, they grew in power to a point of world domination. Secondly, there are ninja and they do have magical/supernatural powers. The ninja are a secret organisation, the Black Lotus, trying to fight for good and keep a magical sword, the moon sword, from the evil President Goda. Thirdly, the story is a blacklotus_webcoming of age tale, with the three heroes going to ninja school and ultimately having to face a greater evil before they have finished their training. Oh, yeah, and fourthly the moon sword, which the Black Lotus keeps secret has the power of time travel/

These different elements weave together to form an exciting and action-packed story, with great twists and turns. Our three heroes each have their own challenges to overcome and must learn to work together, especially after what looks like a great betrayal.

My one gripe is that The Black Lotus: the samurai wars came out in 2015, and the ending is set up for a sequel at the very least. Alas, it has yet to emerge. Perhaps, it is just too dangerous and a group of shadowy ninja are keeping it safe until the world is ready?


The Black Lotus is available here.


Keiran Fanning

Kieran is a teach, writer and probably a ninja, but he won’t talk about it.

Read all about Kieran and his word here.


Reviewed by Daniel Soule

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