Literature / Blood Ninja
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 and its sequel contain the following tropes
- 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, and again after passing it halfway through the sequel. He snaps out of it both times.
- Big Bad: Oda Nobunaga gets this again.
- Bishōnen: Taro has "delicate" features.
- Blind Weaponmaster: Shusaku, after getting burned virtually everywhere.
- Bloodless Carnage - Averted. For a young adult novel, Blood Ninja can be quite bloody and gory at times.
- Bookends: Literally. The first novel's prologue and epilogue both describe Yukiko's Face–Heel Turn, from two different points of view.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Tokugawa is... rather odd, but extremely intelligent.
- 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.
- Escaped from Hell: Subverted with Kenji Kira, who does escape from hell, but by sneaking out through a door someone left open.
- Famous Last Words: ..."Shogun...". Except he's not dead.
- Healing Factor: Vampires heal really quickly.
- High-Pressure Blood: The ending of the second novel has someone literally explode into blood. Yes, that's right.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both Shusaku and Heiko, until Shusaku comes back.
- Honour Before Reason: Taro holds this sort of mentality, but Shusaku repeatedly warns him of its impracticality.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Oda ruined his right arm in a former battle, but regained his sword-saint status by training his left arm, except that he found out that while his right arm is weak, it's still fast...
- 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 he has to remove his clothes for it to work...and ninja burn in sunlight.
- Ironic Echo: "You told me there was no honor in this .... Do you believe it still?"
- 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.
- Life Drinker: Gaki, or hungry ghosts, maintain form and presence by feeding off the life of others. Taro can see them, humans can't.
- 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. In the sequel, Hana teaches Taro to read.
- 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.
- Orphean Rescue: Taro does this in the second novel.
- Purple Prose: The author gets pretty florid describing Hana's beauty.
- Put on a Bus: Taro's mom for book one. She returns in book two.
- Revenge Before Reason: Yukiko, in the sequel, tries to squeeze as much pain out of Taro as possible... which ultimately blows up in her face.
- Technical Pacifist: The Buddha Ball itself. Sure, it won't harm things directly, but...
- The Chessmaster: Tokugawa's said to be not just two steps ahead - he's playing a whole different game.
- The Undead: We've got vampires, ghosts that feed off your life force, and walking skeletons by the end of the second novel.
- 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...