Saturday, June 8, 2013

Book Review: Shogun (The Asian Saga Chronology)

I read this book twenty years ago, and every so often I pull it out and get lost in it's beautiful imagery all over again. Clavell writes lovingly, his characters richly drawn out, complex and intriguing. This is a book about the conflict of two world colliding, a testimony to the power of loyalty and the ability for humans to adapt and survive. Its hard to image a world where you are forever cut off from your former life by an ocean. Imagine leaving on a business trip, never to return, leaving behind your family and life forever. Blackthorne, an English navigator finds himself washed up on unknown shores, into a culture as different as another planet. Society and its rules are so foreign, most of his crew mates can't adapt and eventually cannot survive. However, Blackthrorne is driven by both curiosity as well as his own driving ambition to get rich and go home. He understands that by adapting, earning the trust of his captors, providing them with a service they don't have in their own isolated world, that not only will he live, but achieve greatness as well. There is a love story interwoven throughout the pages of the book that is tender as well as bittersweet. Beautifully written, achingly poignant, it is a timeless read about the ability of humanity to grow using its indomitable will to survive.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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