The Samurai’s Heart by Walt Mussell


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The Samurai's Heart by Walt MussellJapan, 1587. Sen must find a husband to marry into her family’s swordsmith business. She seeks a Christian husband, though Christianity is banned.

Enter Nobuhiro. Third son of a high-level samurai, Nobuhiro fled his harsh father and apprenticed himself to a swordsmith. He yearns to prove his worth.

They seem an ideal match. But for Sen, the choice is faith or family. For Nobuhiro, choosing a Christian ends any reconciliation with his family. Can love be forged from the impossible?

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My Thoughts

This book’s rare setting alone is enough to tempt a horde of historical fiction fans. The story is saturated with the everyday culture and historical climate of late-sixteenth century Japan as well as a healthy dose of suspense and a dash of romance. After months of eager anticipation, I’m so pleased to share my experience of this intriguing literary journey.

Sen is an innocent young woman who is devoted to her faith and her family. As the only living child of her parents, Sen’s duty is to marry and ensure the family business and family name lives on. Simple, right?! Wrong! The ban on Christianity complicates her search for a good husband and endangers her life.

Nobuhiro is completely dedicated to his work and to the master swordsmith he is apprenticing under. While he has tight bonds with his brothers, Nobuhiro is estranged from his father yet still desperate to make him proud. Nobuhiro sets the bar high for himself and bends over backwards to care for his master’s family.

Take your time to savor the little things in this story and a slower pace will help keep those long unfamiliar names from becoming a stumbling block. This book is first in a three part series and while Sen and Naobuhiro’s story came to a satisfying conclusion, there seems to be a suspense thread that will continue throughout the series. Now onto the next order of business, eagerly anticipating the release of book 2!

I received the opportunity to read this book through the Kindle Scout program. The opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author

Walt Mussell lives in an Atlanta-area suburb with his wife and their two boys. He works for a well-known corporation and writes in his spare time.

Walt primarily writes historicals, with a particular focus on Japan, an interest he gained during the four years he lived there. He refers to his work as “Like Shogun, but the heroine survives.”

Outside of writing, his favorite activity is trying to keep up with his kids. As they are both teenagers, this is proving more difficult each day.

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Take a peek at the first line! Share your thoughts on this setting and story, reader friends!


  1. // Reply

    This is a book that I have wanted to read for a long time. I even have it in my Kindle library. Thanks for the reminder to carve out the time to read it. If only reading could be my full time job.

  2. // Reply

    I’ve been looking for Christian fiction set in the East for awhile now – so hard to find! This one sounds so worth checking out. 🙂

    1. // Reply

      Don’t know if you’ll be interested Alicia, but I do know of one Christian mystery set in 10th century Russia.

  3. // Reply

    This reminds me of the recent Scorcese film Silence which I watched recently. I had no idea that Christianity had ever been outlawed in Japan and that Christians there suffered such harsh persecution. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

  4. // Reply

    I got this from Kindle Scout as well. I need to read it very soon. We’re actually listening to the audiobook of Silence at the moment, which is also set in Japan during one of the periods of persecution. Late 17th century I think.

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