Can She Fight as a Man?

Can She Fight as a Man?

Chanel Hamilton, Staff Writer

What would you do if one day your entire world changed for the worst? What if your your whole family is murdered by your uncle out of pure jealousy? This is what Kimi and her sister Hana from the book series “Sisters Of The Sword” by Maya Snow go through as they disguise themselves as boys to practice as samurai. To eventually be strong enough to challenge their spiteful uncle and take back the throne that is rightfully theirs.

In the first book, the main character, Kimi, is the oldest daughter of the Jito ( medieval territory stewards in Japan) and is a boyish girl. She was always fascinated with the thought of touring the territories as a Samurai. The only problem is that as a woman, she could do no such thing. A woman’s place was in the house and that was final. Kimi did learn some fighting moves along with her younger sister Hana though.

Their father felt it important that she would need to defend herself if needed. Kimi, however, was not satisfied with this. She would often live vicariously through her two eldest brothers that were preparing to one day compete for the title as Jito when their father retires. One night, Kimi and Hana sneak out to watch a ceremony taking place that only men were invited to. The ceremony was crowning their uncle, Hidehira, as the temporary Jito so that their father could take time off to tour the estate with his two eldest sons. Their uncle had always made jokes about his younger brother becoming the jito and serving his younger brother but no one ever suspected that he would take it this far.

That night, they witnessed their uncle’s ultimate betrayal as he literally stabs his younger brother (Kimi and Hana’s father) in the back. All they could do was watch as their trifling uncle kills their father and two brothers; thinking that if not even their well trained brothers and father struggled and failed in a battle with their uncle? Their uncle then sends his men to kill everyone else in the home. Kimi, and Hana escaped and learned that their mother had also escaped with their youngest brother, Moriyasu, from a letter that she left them. Now they were refugees. In an effort to conceal their identity, they pulled their hair into a top knot that usually men wear to present as young boys.

They find refuge at the exact dojo that their eldest brothers as well as uncle and father trained at. They had no money or status as young boys so they had no choice but to beg the master of the dojo to allow them to train under him. Master Goku challenges them to a fight, which they lose, to see their skill level. While he saw great potential in both of them, he has no more room in his dojo for any more students. Kimi needed to think quickly, they couldn’t afford to be put out of the dojo and get caught by hisehira’s soldiers. She asks if he needs help with chores and Master Goku decides to allow them to reside in his dojo as servants. Little did they know, servants require training as well. They continue to hone their skills in his dojo as they prepare to one day challenge their uncle and take back their throne as Moriyasu as the male successor.

I won’t spoil the entire book series for you, but hopefully that summary was enough for you to at least search up the book.

This engaging book is completely underrated, I can literally never find anyone talking about it when I search it up. Not one hashtag or tweet.

For people that appreciate Asian culture, this book takes place in Japan and explains many older Japanese traditions in great detail. It is also really great for people that love books with a lot of action.

I hope I’ve convinced you to read this book and if you do, please share it with your friends or anyone that you think would like it.