So sorry, I am not worthy of the honor of reviewing this novel. If however, my Lord insists it, then I shall endeavor to offer up some humble thoughts regarding its mighty, even epic narrative. Neh? The scope is so vast, the characters and settings are so many, the head is liable to spin at times, so sorry. But the arc it follows is like a peregrine’s path through the sky: long but fast and with vicious twists along what might otherwise have seemed a predictable path. I’m sure my Lord would agree that parts of the story can become quite tedious. I am not speaking of the slow-to-develop romance between Mariko and the Anjin-san nor even of the dueling political machinations of Toranaga and Ishido. No, Sire. This humble vassal speaks more to the text and how Japanese is interwoven with the barbarian words in so many places, neh? And then how barbarian words come even to replace Japanese! Or barbarian words standing in for the words of other barbarian tongues! If you’ll excuse this vassal’s petulant tongue, Sire, it’s enough to make one fart dust, so sorry. But these tedious affectations do blend in after a while, neh? and the narrative is quite the enjoyable one — full of so much intrigue and humor. A rousing and enjoyable tale of which I am not worthy to comment further. I cannot live with this shame! Please allow me to commit seppuku at once!
Shōgun, ★★★☆☆ on the Goodreads scale.