First Chapter Monday – Go ninja go ninja go

Last time on FCM I shared the opening for an alternative take on Dante’s Inferno. It’s been four years since then, and I’ll tell that story sometime (about where the heck I went for four years), but today I’m bringing back First Chapter Monday (with 45 minutes to go until Tuesday, I think I can make it!).

Ninjas are pretty awesome. I don’t know anyone who would disagree with that. Except maybe people who got murdered dead by ninjas but even they probably thought their assassin was pretty cool. How could you get any cooler than this?

Apologies if this triggers your bird PTSD.
Apologies if this triggers your bird PTSD.

Ninjas have always been popular in media. I’m not sure they’re ever represented terribly accurately, however–even in Japanese media. It’s always pretty over the top, people flippin’ all over the place, flinging shuriken left and right that somehow manage to make their foe’s head pop right off on contact… but I’ve been working on something a lot more historical, and featuring a lot more ninjas looking like this:

I bet they can fling those arrows faster than any bow can shoot them.

Those aren’t necessarily ninjas–they could just be your basic, run-of-the-mill shrine maidens. But you can never be sure!

In the 1500s one warlord who almost conquered and united the warring Japanese states utilized a clandestine band of all-female ninjas who disguised themselves as itinerant priestesses wandering the countryside to perform sacred rites and rituals. They mostly gathered information as spies, but I’m pretty sure they flipped out and killed someone every now and then, as all ninjas do. It’s in their nature.

On a more serious note, Japanese history is fascinating. We don’t study it much in the United States. You can read about some of the time period I’ve been living in these past five years in that older post. But enough intro. Grab a coffee, a handful of makibishi, kick your feet up, and dive into the first chapter of SISTERS OF BLOOD AND SHADOW.

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