Thirteenth-century Japan is a dangerous place, especially for masterless young men desiring to be a samurai. Capricious gods, shape-changing animals, and bloodthirsty demons are as real and unpleasant as a gang of vicious bandits. From the wilderness emerges a young, idealistic warrior with his father’s mysterious sword on his hip, a wise, sarcastic dog at his side, and a yearning in his heart to find a worthy master. He dreams only of being samurai.
Finding a master should be easy for a warrior as skilled as Ken’ishi, but the land has settled into an uneasy peace and cast multitudes of proud, powerful warriors to the four winds. These masterless warriors, ronin, often must stoop to crime and banditry to feed themselves. Ken’ishi finds himself plagued by the hatred and mistrust of peasants and samurai alike.
When he saves a noble maiden from a pack of bandits, he and his faithful dog become enmeshed in the intrigues of samurai lords, vengeful constables, Mongol spies, and a shadowy underworld crime boss known as Green Tiger. But Ken’ishi has a few secret weapons of his own, granted to him by his mysterious past and his magical upbringing. If only he knew more about his mysterious past, his parents’ murder, and the sword that seems to want to talk to him. . . .
Heart of the Ronin is an action-packed historical fantasy, set against the backdrop of ancient intrigue and impending war, the first of a sweeping three-part epic filled with deadly duels and climactic battles. Creatures of folklore and myth are as real as the katana in one’s hand. And just as deadly.
Genre: Historical fantasy
“A fusion of historical fiction and adventure fantasy, the first volume of Heermann’s Ronin Trilogy is a page-turning folkloric narrative of epic proportions…. [His] writing style is confident and fluid, his characters well developed and his serpentine story line anything but predictable. Numerous tantalizingly unresolved plot threads will have readers anxiously awaiting the second installment in this gripping tale of ill-fated love, betrayal and destiny.” – Publishers Weekly
“Full of sword battles, intrigue, romance and fantastic elements blending well with historical ones, Heart of the Ronin is a very impressive opening in the Ronin Trilogy. It’s also a page turner that you can’t put down and will leave readers begging for more.”– Fantasy Book Critic
“Heart of a Ronin is a solid, likeable adventure story, sure to please fans of Japanese culture and fantasy readers alike.” – Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing
About the Author: Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, roustabout, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the author of The Ronin Trilogy, The Wild Boys, Rogues of the Black Fury, and co-author of Death Wind, plus short fiction pieces in anthologies and magazines such as Apex Magazine, Alembical, the Fiction River anthology series, Historical Lovecraft, and Cemetery Dance’s Shivers VII. As a freelance writer, he has produced a metric ton of role-playing game work both in print and online, including the Firefly Roleplaying Game, Battletech, Legend of Five Rings, d20 System, and the MMORPG, EVE Online.
He enjoys cycling, martial arts, torturing young minds with otherworldly ideas, and zombies. He has three long-cherished dreams: a produced screenplay, a NYT best-seller, and a seat in the World Series of Poker.
In 2016, he returned to the U.S. after living in New Zealand for a year with his family, toting more Middle Earth souvenirs and photos than is reasonable.
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Follow him on Twitter at @TravisHeermann.
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