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Title: Only A Shadow
Series: Fated Blades #0.5
Author: Steve Bein
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
A ninja clan must disgrace a local leader whose goal is to wipe them out. They must steal his Fated Blade, which will then allow them to destroy him.
The old crafty ninja-master is training a young man and part of the training is out-smarting the young man so he’ll realize that wisdom takes time to accumulate.
This was a fun little short story about one of the Fated Blades.
It was an adventure story with the stealing of the Blade. It was a teaching tale with the old ninja out-smarting the double-crossing young man. And finally, it was a Fated Blade Story, enough said.
The page count is a little mis-leading, as the story ends around page 45 and the rest was an excerpt from the first Fated Blade book, Daughter of the Sword. I really dislike when those type of things happen, even while I understand why the publishers keep doing it.
There was NO fantasy element to this story, nor any cross-over to present time with Mariko. I was a little disappointed, as I like the Mariko storylines more than the historical ones. However, this was still a great story and to be honest, I’d recommend someone trying this short story out if they weren’t sure of starting the series.
Bein is a good writer, and sadly, that is more of a compliment than it should be. However, it is refreshing to read a well written short story that isn’t boring or full of cardboard characters.