Excerpt from The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbol, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Sadness of the Samurai

A Novel

By Victor del Arbol

The Sadness of the Samurai
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: May 2012,
    400 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


He had done what he had to do, but that didn't mollify the contempt he was now feeling for himself.

"You should have distanced yourself from those schemers when you had the chance, Isabel."

"You only have me. When I knew who you really were, I warned the others. You and your boss won't be able to reach them."

The man lit a condescending smile.

"You'll tell me where they are."

"I will not."

"I can assure you that you will, Isabel," predicted the man in a dire voice, and, turning toward Andrés, he added, "That is if you ever want to see your son again."

The boy observed the scene without understanding what was going on. His face was boiling red from the cold.

The rising wind carried on it the music of an incoming train. The train to Lisbon. The gradually lessening noise of the wheels on the rails came through the fog. There was a pause and a whistle, like the deep sigh of a runner stopping after great exertion.

"Let's go, Mamá, it's our train," said Andrés, taking his mother by the hand and pulling. She didn't move or take her eyes off the man.

Then he leaned down beside the boy. On his face was a broad, beneficent smile that struck at Isabel's very soul.

"There's been a change of plans, Andrés. Your mamá has to take a trip, but you are going back home. Your father is waiting for you."

The boy looked at the stranger with confusion, and then his gaze shifted back to his mother, who was looking at him anxiously.

"I don't want to go home. I want to go with my mother."

"That's not going to be possible. But I think your father has a very big surprise for you... a real Japanese katana!"

Like a sudden clearing in the forest, the boy's face lit up. He was struck dumb with astonishment.

"You mean it?"

"Absolutely," assured the man. "I wouldn't dare lie to a samurai."

Andrés's face filled with pride.

They walked toward the car at the station's entrance. Andrés sank his feet into the snow, leaping in a race to get home before anyone else, shouting with joy. Isabel's feet dragged, followed closely by the man, who kept his eyes glued on her.

"What is going to happen to my son?" she asked him suddenly, before getting into the car.

"He will be a happy boy who'll grow up remembering how lovely his mother was... or a poor lunatic locked up for life in a miserable insane asylum. It depends on you."

The car left the station with a slow, jagged murmur beneath a sky wrapped in cellophane. In the backseat Isabel held Andrés tightly, as if she wanted to stick him back inside her to protect him. But the boy pushed away her embrace with a selfish gesture, asking that man to drive faster... faster. He was finally going to have a real samurai katana of his very own.

Copyright © 2011 by Víctor del Árbol. Translation Copyright © 2012 by Mara Faye Lethem

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.