‘An original plot with some very interesting and likeable characters. There’s also a sweet romance, a time travel switch, and a dose of Japanese history, and all of this makes this book totally unique. As you turn each page, it’s hard not to admire just how well this author brilliantly conveys the time travel element. You seamlessly move from one time period to the other and both are equally fascinating.
Also, the author’s complete understanding of the Japanese culture is really obvious right down to the fine detail. Anyone with any knowledge of Japan will inevitably be impressed by the way Kenji, Bebe’s new love interest, and Kai, the samurai, are portrayed. The Japanese character is very different to the Western one and this is sometimes misinterpreted in other books but Rutherford has developed her characters very well to show the real differences. The character of Kenji is written with such authenticity and a deep understanding of the Japanese mind-set.
As well as this, the Japanese people’s attitude towards Westerners in the samurai period was obviously carefully researched but their roles were so well-written it did not feel in any way unnatural. The fact that there were several schools of thought about whether the Japanese should welcome trade with the Westerners or fight to keep them from infiltrating Japanese society was clearly portrayed in this book and readers will benefit from this without feeling like they’re bogged down with historical facts.’