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Book Review



Legend of Japan


Written by: Blue Spruell
Narrated by: Steve Marvel
Genres: High / Epic Fantasy | Historical
Published: 5th of August, 2021
Length: 8 Hours 32 Minutes


Listen to Samples:

A B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Award-winning author Blue Spruell reimagines classic Japanese folklore in an historical fantasy adventure of warlords, swords, and mythical beasts from old Japan - for adults young and old - Banzai! Lost in the mists of Mount Fuji...but no one can escape destiny...

Orphaned by a rival warlord and bewitched by a ghost, young Taro must discover his birthright and destiny as the legendary boy samurai and hero of Japan. Accompanied by Tanuki, his shape-shifting badger sidekick, Taro embarks on a quest of self-discovery and revenge, falls for Kamehime, the teenage samurai daughter of a powerful warlord, and ultimately becomes embroiled in the political struggle for the imperial throne. Along the way, Taro and his allies face fearsome yokai, the ghosts, goblins, and ghouls of Japanese folklore.

“Engaging and fun samurai adventures with a captivating cast.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“An exciting, magical coming-of-age adventure book that draws creatively from Japanese folklore and history.” (Book Life by Publishers Weekly)

"A riveting tale of betrayal, honor, and revenge that instantly hooks you in and just refuses to let go." (Readers’ Favorite, five-star review)


The Audiobook Review
Morgan Hobbes Morgan Hobbes


Average Score: 

Reviewed: 2021-08-31

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Coming-of-age Adventure in Feudal Japan
Taro, written by Blue Spruell, is a reimagining of several Japanese folk tales featuring a young hero named Taro. I'll admit, I'm not familiar with any of the source material, so I've no idea how close or how much this leans into the original material.

For me, this was an endearing young-adult adventure where warlords of feudal Japan are battling for control of the country. Rescued from certain death by a witch, Taro grows up with magical animals until one day, a chance occurrence puts him in good with one of the warlords.

It's packed with loads of fights waged with various Japanese weapons and martial arts. Plenty of samurai getting about, magical beings and other mythical like fantasy all rolled into a compelling tale in lovingly describe settings. It's clear the author has a love of Japan.

Narration by Steve Marvel was decent, and without knowing any Japanese, I have to assume the pronunciations of Japanese words were correct. It did strike me as an odd choice why a story filled with Japanese people and culture wasn't voiced by someone with the same heritage. As it was, I couldn't help picturing a white guy doing a Japanese accent.

Narration Sample

In summary, this was a fun book filled with plenty of action written by someone with an obvious love of Japan and her culture.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have left an honest review.



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