August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan – his beloved father and the crew lie
slaughtered by ninja pirates.
Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope
is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins.
But life at the samurai school is a constant
fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bullies and treated as an
With courage in his heart and his sword held high, can Jack prove himself and face his deadliest
Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior is the first title in the Young Samurai
Book 1: Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior
Book 2: Young Samurai: The Way of the Sword
Book 3: Young Samurai: The Way of the Dragon
Book 4: Young Samurai: The Ring of Earth
Watch the Spinebreakers video; Chris Bradford's writing tips.
‘A fantastic adventure that floors the reader on page one and keeps them there until the end’
‘Young Samurai won't just delight its readers with tales of ninjas, swords and samurai, but will inspire them to actually get involved in the world of martial arts’
Steve Backshall, BBC Children’s TV Presenter
‘Young Samurai is a series which starts with as much promise and excitement as the joys of Christmas morning. With a formidable pace and characters who breathe life from the pages, Chris Bradford will undoubtedly be the new talent to watch out for.’
John Lloyd, Waterstone’s Bath
Prologue - Masamoto Tenno
Kyoto, Japan, August 1609
The boy snapped awake.
He seized his sword.
Hardly daring to breathe, Tenno sensed someone else was in the room. As his eyes grew accustomed to the dark, he searched for signs of movement. But he could see nothing, only shadows within shadows, the moonlight seeping ghostlike through the lucent paper walls. Perhaps he had been wrong...His samurai training, though, warned him otherwise.
Tenno listened intently for the slightest sound, any indication there might be an intruder. But he heard nothing unusual. The cherry blossom trees in the garden made a faint rustle like the sound of silk as a light breeze passed through. There was the familiar trickle of water as it flowed from the small fountain into the fishpond, and nearby a cricket made its persistent nightly chirp. The rest of the house lay silent.
He was overreacting...It was just some bad kami spirit disturbing his dreams, he reasoned.
This past month the whole Masamoto household had been on edge with the rumour of war.
There was talk of a rebellion and Tenno's father had been called into service to help quell any potential uprising. The peace Japan had enjoyed for the past twelve years was suddenly under threat and the people were afraid they would be plunged back into war. No wonder he was so on edge.
Tenno lowered his guard and settled back to sleep on his futon. As he did so, the night cricket chirped a little louder and the boy's hand tightened round the hilt of his sword. His father had once said, 'A samurai should always obey his instints', and his instincts told him something was wrong.
He rose from his bed to investigate.
Suddenly a silver star spun out of the darkness.
Tenno threw himself out of the way but was a second too late.
The shuriken sliced through his cheek before burying itself deep into the futon where his head had just been. As he continued to roll, he felt a rush of hot blood stream down his face. Then he heard a second shuriken thud into the tatami-matted floor, and in one fluid movement he sprang to his feet, bringing his sword up to protect himself.
Dressed head-to-toe in black, a figure drifted ghost-like out of the shadows.
Ninja! The Japanese assassin of the night.