The Nine Heroes

The Smoke DragonAn interesting thing happened to me after I moved to Wellington (New Zealand). I discovered the amazing people at Whitireia New Zealand, and I’ve begun the journey to completing my long-overdue first novel, Circle of Tears, while I complete my long-overdue Bachelor of Arts at Whitireia.

Circle of Tears will be an epic Japanese fantasy story, the tale of nine legendary heroes versus the eponymous Circle, a cabal of yokai (evil spirit) lords. It is book one of the Adventures of Yamabushi Kaidan. Early fragments of the novel have been published as my popular novelettes The Smoke Dragon and The Mist Ninja.

Circle of Tears is coming to life a little more every day, and as it does, I want to share some of the characters with the world. Let’s start with Kaidan’s nine heroes. They are:

  1. Yamabushi Kaidan, a battle-hardened, cunning mountain monk who lives atop the remote Autumn Mountain.
  2. Akio, a kind-hearted Shugendo priest and healer and Kaidan’s acolyte.
  3. Tsubasa the sparrowhawk, Kaidan’s frequent companion.
  4. Haru, a bumbling but well-intentioned samurai, heir to the lordship of the Shinichi clan.
  5. Teraku, a samurai of the Shinichi clan, and Haru’s stalwart friend.
  6. Benkei, a towering, indomitable, Sohei warrior monk.
  7. The ghost of Musashi, the legendary, unruly, undefeated kensai (‘sword saint’).
  8. Sasuke Monkeyjump, a wild Koga ninja.
  9. Hosokawa the badger dad, a talking badger and forest elder.

Can this unlikely band overcome the darkest shadows from Japan’s history? Perhaps, but not without cost …

I will explore more about these nine heroes and their enemies, the Circle of Tears, in the coming weeks.