I've been trying for days to conjure up the right words for what I want to say about this book but I just.... can't. In all honesty, I'm speechless. I've been speechless about a few books before but this one definitely takes the cake so far.
I was drawn immediately into the story from the start. The Japanese and yakuza setting is not one I've read a lot of books on so I was fascinated with the world of it. How yakuzas, no matter what others say, really are proud and have honor and how even though they are considered the lowest of the low, they are still prejudice against foreigners, or gaijin, until they prove themselves. So it was quite interesting seeing Shigure struggling with his pride to be with Kenshin and not be ashamed by it. And when he realized he was the only one who had that problem, everything changed for him.
I honestly fell in love with these characters. They buried themselves deep into my heart and have settled there for the long run. I felt what they felt. I cried for them and smiled for them. I laughed when they did. I was deeply invested in this story. It was just captivating. *sigh* And I want more of it. I didn't, and never could, get my fill of this world and these characters. I want more. And I want more now.
There are some elements in the story people will not like. For one, Shigure gets aggressive a time or two with Kenshin. It's all consensual so no worries there but there is a scene or two of rough sex. Kenshin gets kidnapped and tortured but it's not shown in great detail. In fact, we only know about it from Kinosuke who is one of Shigure's men because he was there when it happened but again it's not in great detail so any of you who are squeamish, no worries on having to skip this one because of that because there's no gory details. There is also the matter of a different culture. You learn all about the yakuzas and the Japanese culture and how they have a different way of acting than the Americans or the Spanish or the French or Italians, etc. It was fascinating to me but others might not think it is so I urge you to remember that if you decide to read this one.
With that said, whether you think you will like the book or not, I think it's definitely one everyone should try. Give it a go even if you think you may not like it because it might surprise you.
It was a fantastic book and I definitely recommend it.