is a 2009 action-fantasy novel written by Nick Lake.
The novel starts with young Taro's
sickly father's death at the hands of ninja. Another ninja immediately pays a visit and assassinates the other ninja. He then convinces Taro's mother to fake her death and flee, giving her a messenger pigeon. Taro's own escape isn't easy, though - a horde of the first ninja's allies come to take him by force, and even with the backup of his best friend Hiro
, Taro ends up dying in the fray
Immediately the "good" ninja takes Taro and bites into his neck
, effectively bringing him Back from the Dead
, just in time to start the story. This ninja, named Shusaku,
proceeds to explain how all ninja are vampires
and, since Taro has been turned, he will also become a ninja. Together with Hiro, they will journey to the home base of Shusaku's ninja clan and later, find Taro's mother.
A sequel, Blood Ninja II: The Revenge of Lord Oda
, was released in 2010. A second sequel will be released in 2012.
Do not confuse with bloodninja
The novel contains the following tropes
- Action Girl: Yukiko and Hana, but especially Yukiko.
- Badass: Shusaku. Oda. Namae.
- Badass Normal: Hiro, Yukiko, Heiko.
- Badass Princess: Hana.
- Bad Boss: Oda Nobunaga kills and maims those in his employ for the most insignificant reasons.
- Berserk Mode: Taro gets locked into this after passing the Despair Event Horizon in a fight.
- Big Bad: Oda Nobunaga gets this again.
- Bishōnen: Taro has "delicate" features.
- Bloodless Carnage - Averted. For a young adult novel, Blood Ninja can be quite bloody and gory at times.
- Bow and Sword in Accord: Taro.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Hiro.
- Book Ends: Literally. The prologue and epilogue both describe Yukiko's Face-Heel Turn, from two different points of view.
- Crazy-Prepared - Tokugawa Ieyasu.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Little Kawabata.
- Driven by Envy: The male Kawabatas. Kawabata-tousan killed Shusaku's love because he wanted her and the son has burning desire to beat and kill Taro.
- Face-Heel Turn: Yukiko.
- Famous Last Words: ..."Shogun...".
- Healing Factor: Vampires heal really quickly.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both Shusaku and Heiko, and we mourn.
- Honour Before Reason: Taro holds this sort of mentality, but Shusaku repeatedly warns him of its impracticality.
- Instant Expert: Everyone - or at least, all the ninja students - are said to "progress to the sword ... naturally, as if they hand spent their early childhoods wielding katana".
- Invisibility: Shusaku is Blessed with Suck - he had the Heart Sutra tattooed over his body, rendering him inivsible to other ninja. However this ultimately leads him to his death. note
- Ironic Echo: "You told me there was no honor in this .... Do you believe it still?"
- Jidai Geki
- Japanese Honorifics: Counts as Gratuitous Japanese here because the novel is written in English.
- King Incognito: Taro is Tokugawa's son, hidden in the village he grew up in. And Endo Shusaku was a former lord of Tokugawa's.
- Master of Unlocking: Taro takes Heiko on a mission with him specifically because she is this.
- Never Learned to Read: Both Taro and Hiro. They were peasants, after all.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: All you really need to know about the novel is that it features vampire ninjas.
- Orochi: Taro draws inspiration from this for a particular revenge scheme.
- Period Piece
- Rebellious Princess - Oda no Hana.
- The Obi Wan: Shusaku.
- The Rival: "Little" Kawabata, to Taro.
- Tomboy Princess: Hana, said to have "the soul of a man".
- Twist Ending: A MASSIVE ONE.
- Our Vampires Are Different - Well for starters, they're ninjas. See the main article for details.
- Weakened by the Light: The sun has this effect on vampires.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Little Kawabata, very, very much.
- Wham Line:
- "The truth is, Taro...you are Lord Tokugawa's son." closely followed by "Lord Endo Shusaku at your service."
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Heiko briefly pretends to be Taro so they kill her instead of him.
- You Killed My Father: Oda sent the ninjas who killed Taro's dad. Well, not his biological father, but still...