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Author: Robert J. Shea
Published: 1981
Language: English
Wordcount: 339,980 / 945 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 7,752
Added to site: 2008.02.09 20013
License: by-nc-sa

Before shōgun... in a Japan of warring clans and star-crossed lovers... there was the glorious saga of Shike. (Includes "Time of the Dragons" and "Last of the Zinja.")

Show Excerpt

he Saying, Jebu, or I'll slice your belly open."

" 'A Zinja who kills a brother of the Order will die a thousand deaths.' "Jebu quoted The Zinja Manual, the Order's book of wisdom.

Fudo snorted. "That book is a collection of old women's tales. You are wrong, Jebu. The Father Abbot foolishly appointed us to guard you. We have only to say we killed you because you were trying to escape from the crypt."

"I don't know any Saying."

"Kill the dog and be done with it, Weicho."

The instant Jebu felt the point of the naginata press harder against his skin, he swung his hand over and struck the weapon aside. With a quick chop of his other hand he broke the long staff into which the blade was set. The curved steel blade splashed into the water, and Jebu felt around for it. He grabbed the broken wooden end and held the naginata blade like a sword. But he still dared not climb out of the crypt.

"Come and get me," he said.

"Come and get us," said Weicho.

"He won't," s


Average Rating of 4.6 from 5 reviews: *****

The philosophical thoughts expressed are exceptionally clear and interesting. A mixture of zen, sufi and many other traditions and new age and occult beliefs. Its metaphysics steeped in history.. characterisations are great too. My fav. R Shea book...


A good book but not as good as his latter Saracen novels. Tries to catch much of the flavour of Shogun although it is set in 13th century Japan.

The Mongol invasion looms large and its clear from the beginning that that will be the climax. The love story was the poorest aspect but the novel is similar to his later ones in that regard.

The hero is riduculously superhuman in his exploits pushing the novel into the realm of fantasy rather than historical fiction.

The book is very long, over 100 pages but well worth your time.


This is a great book! As are his other books. My only regret is that I have already read the book. You are in for a treat!


I read it many many years ago and couldn't put it down. Gripping, unexpected, imaginative, exciting! Then I made the mistake of lending it to someone.... Finally found a copy in the State Library of Queensland and read it again recently. fantastic adventure story, yet with a beautiful love story woven into the tapestry. Shogun was a facinating book but a bit hard work in places... Shike will grip you from the start and when it finishes you will hunger for more.


This book was pretty badly formatted, a real detraction. I did like the story but it was too long. I think the book needs a little nip & tuck and then it could be great!

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