All Tarō wants to do is devour books. He is happiest when he his imagination transports him to magical worlds. However, his father, Lord Takeda Nobutora, wants Tarō to be a Samurai, just like him and the generations before him. Now that he is seven, he is given a wakizashi (traditional sword) and his destiny as a samurai awaits. As is tradition, his family heads on a pilgrimage to the shrine where they are ambushed and to his horror, his father is killed. As the Lords compete to see who can raise young Tarō, he and his badger friend, Tanuki, end up under the care of Lord Tokugawa and he enters into training as a Samurai. Over the coming years, supernatural powers arise from within him with the ability to talk to animals in the great becoming a huge asset. Discovering who he really is through the pain and grief life has thrown his way, he becomes the ultimate Samurai and carries out one final mission to cement his place in history.
Blue Spruell takes the reader on a fictional journey laced with facts from three different Japanese legends and tales (Kintarō, Urashima and Momotarō) with a respectful nod to Japan’s history. Steeped in magic with fantastical elements throughout, this superb story is filled with courage, tradition and bravery. Tarō, and everything that makes him who he is, will stay with you long after you finish this wonderful book. Sublime illustrations by Miya Outlaw just add to the atmosphere created by his prose as you follow Tarō on his journey of hope.