What a fascinating book this was! Magic swords and samurai set alongside drugs and modern Tokyo and all blending in together to produce an engrossing and original story.
This is one of the few books that I have read that wasn't set either in the UK, America, or a fantasy Westernised world, this made the setting new and exciting for me but the huge change in culture could have become very confusing if it wasn't for the Mariko, she was an essential bridge between me and Japan. Mariko herself was a good lead character, she had the tough female bit going on, not that much different from other heroines I have read about, but likeable none the less.
What I found most enjoyable about this book was the way it switched from the past to the future, mapping the history of the swords and showing the havoc the have wreaked through out time to the unwary. It really added something epic and most definitely magical to the book.
An interesting and absorbing read, I really recommend it and can't wait to see what happens next in this series.