Herein you will follow the travails of a deadly swordsman whose wild Norse rage is tempered and refined by the ancient soul of the Samurai. This is Gonji – Red Blade from the East by T.C. Rypel.
Gonji tells the tale of Sabatake Gonji-no Sadowara, a Ronin of mixed Japanese and Nordic descent who roams across Europe in search of the elusive and mysterious Deathwind. Along the way he brings his considerable fighting prowess to bear as he battles evil in its many guises.
Rypel has created a wonderfully conflicted character whose internal demons are every bit as formidable as the enemies he must face during his journey. Gonji’s internal monologue would make it seem at first that he is elitist and self serving, yet every time someone is in trouble, he throws himself into the fight where his deadly Samurai skills quickly bring the conflict to an end.
Throughout the book, Gonji struggles to try and keep his honor intact while serving alongside those far removed from the concept. He routinely has to demonstrate great restraint rather than reacting to the multitude of insults and sleights. I enjoyed the way Rypel created an eastern “barbarian” who could speak multiple languages and had a wit as sharp as his killing sword.
Gonji – Red Blade from the East, the first book of The Deathwind Trilogy is an exciting read that leaves you wondering just what adventures Rypel has in store for Gonji as his quest continues in the next installment.