Deadly Flowers: A Ninja's Tale

272p. Boyds Mills. Apr. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781629792149; ebk. $7.99. ISBN 9781629795638.
Gr 6 Up—Kata is a "deadly flower," a trained ninja who works alone and can take care of herself. She is fully prepared for her first solo assignment, until she learns she is to be an assassin. She flees with her target and his sister as they fight to survive against skilled samurai warriors, deceptive ninjas, and supernatural beings—all to protect a powerful family secret. This mission turns into a coming-of-age lesson for Kata that forces her to challenge herself while she learns about deception, trust, and friendship. The story unfolds with many twists and turns that keep readers intrigued, including many frightening encounters with demons and ghosts pulled from Japanese folklore that range from spooky to outright terrifying. Kata struggles to survive and keep others around her safe. This book is a great combination of adventure, fantasy, and horror, with two strong heroines who form an unlikely alliance.
VERDICT A great adventure story that is perfect for readers who are interested in ninjas and other warriors.

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