Samurai

Samurai

by Jason Hightman

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Overview

Dragons. They masquerade as their victims, unrecognizable to all but a select few. In the West, Simon St. George and his father are the last living descendants of a legendary clan of dragon hunters. In the Far East, fierce Samurai warriors are bound by an oath to defeat the dragons. Now, faced with an apocalyptic dragon plot, East and West must join forces to save mankind.

Brimming with unforgettable dragon lore and exotic adventure, Jason Hightman's riveting sequel to The Saint of Dragons delves deeper into the raging war between humans and dragons.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061997327
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/26/2010
Series: Saint of Dragons , #2
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
File size: 489 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Jason Hightman lives in California with his wife, Kim, and young daughter, Hannah, who has the magical ability to make anyone laugh even on their dreariest days. After studying dragon hunting and alchemy at the University of Southern California, Hightman has spent the last few years doing battle with the serpents in Los Angeles, who use automobiles to clog motorways impenetrably. You can often find him in his armor, prowling for good books and hunting any nasty dragons disguised as cynical critics. He prays he never runs into the latter. Hightman hopes the Saint of Dragons series combines the best elements of old-fashioned swordplay adventure, Japanese comic books, cinematic action, heroic archetypes, and unusual villains—all things he likes in the stories he reads himself.

Read an Excerpt

Samurai

Chapter One

The Heat of Battle

There is one thing you can count on with evil.

Evil will do things you never counted on.

Simon St. George hated that fact as much as he detested the African sun. The heat in Kenya was unbearable, and the shadows the sun cast on the trail were hatefully dark, making it difficult to see if a Serpent was ready to leap out of the tall grasses.

And they were hunting Serpent. The possibility of a fiery death was always with him, and Simon found it sickening rather than exciting. His father was quite the opposite. Riding tall in his saddle ahead, Aldric St. George steered his horse with a stern energy, a quiet thrill that a fight could come at any moment.

Aldric insisted on the two of them going on horseback, for ease of movement on the rough terrain, but, looking back jealously at the car in his wake, Simon cursed his old-fashioned ways and yearned for air conditioning.

Behind him, the battered Jeep spit rocks from its wheels, slowly rolling through the ragged country—a neglected dirt road amid long yellow grasses. Beside the worried Kenyan driver sat Alaythia Moore, the beautiful New York artist who lately looked a bit awestruck by the wilds of Africa.

Simon squinted back at her, the dirt on the windows making her nothing but a pretty shadow. He rode up alongside his father. "You think she'd rather be out here with us?"

Aldric focused his eyes on the trail. "Simon, keep your mind on the task at hand."

"We're miles from the African Dragons," said Simon. "We still have to get past the next two villages. I justthought she might be lonely in there."

"It's so hot in the sun. Why the devil would she want to be out here?"

"For the company," said Simon, unhappily. Unless he was lecturing him, his British father was never much good at conversation. Simon wondered how Aldric and Alaythia spent their time alone. He figured they must always be planning strategy, going over the old scrolls and Books of St. George, learning the Serpentine language better, or designing new weaponry. Alaythia's skills as a Magician had grown tremendously over the past few months.

Simon turned as the Jeep pulled around them and Alaythia looked out. "You have to be sick of the sun by now," she said to Aldric. "Why don't you tether the horses to the back and get some shade in the Jeep?"

Aldric smiled at her. "You mean step into the modern world?"

"Yes," she said with exasperation. "You should've left the horses back at the ship."

Alaythia, Simon thought, had just a touch of what he now recognized as New York attitude, with the slight hint of expectation that rich people carry around, which she had yet to completely lose (her grandmother had left her a fair amount of money from a Manhattan real estate fortune, which had soon dwindled away on bad investments and charity giveaways). She leaned out more, her odd beaded necklace clanging on the Jeep's door. "Come on," she prompted again. "Quit being the angry Warrior and take a break in here."

"We'll see what you say when that jalopy gets a flat tire, or the transmission goes out," said Aldric. "We do things the St. George way. We're not going to drop traditions that have been handed down for centuries."

Simon watched the two of them, surprised to see his father looking relaxed for a moment. That must have been the fifth time he'd smiled in the past two days—a record. Alaythia could bring that out in anyone, he thought.

"We're coming up on the next village," she said.

"This isn't the way I remember it," said the African driver and translator, as he slowed down and let the horses pass, staring at the settlement. "There should be more people out. It was a busy little place . . ."

Aldric looked alarmed as they neared the town, a sorry set of flat, boxy, falling-apart buildings in faded colors. A very old Ford sat in the high grass, ruined by time and hard rains, proof of Aldric's claim that this was no place for motorcars.

And then, beyond the junked car, a human skeleton lay in the grass.

"Halt," Aldric said to his horse, Valsephany.

Simon stopped behind him, having a bit more difficulty with Norayiss, his own stallion.

The skeleton was clean and white, left out in the sun for a long time. Flies scarcely bothered with it. Simon noted with some disgust that an arm had been lost, most likely by scavengers, jackals, perhaps. He'd seen death before, but hadn't quite gotten used to it.

The skull gleamed, a horror made ordinary by the afternoon sun.

"What does it mean?" he asked his father.

"I'm not sure," Aldric answered.

Aldric pulled a crossbow closer to him in the saddle, as did Simon. Alaythia had a rifle, its wooden stock covered in runic symbols. She held it closer, leaning out of the Jeep as the driver reluctantly drove it forward.

More death greeted them. Skeletons lined the twisting road, looking as if the people had fallen there in some attempt to escape the tiny town, and no one had bothered to bury them. It was a strange sight, and Simon felt queasy.

The path to the village became yet more riddled with skeletons and bones, and the horses' hooves crunched over them, as it was impossible to get around them. Large boulders sat on each side of the road, and Simon noted with alarm that one of the huge rocks was smeared with blood.

Blood?

Two young boys ran toward the St. Georges as they arrived. They were shouting something, terror in their eyes.

"Disease," said the translator from the Jeep. "They're yelling about disease. It is some terrible death let loose here."

"What kind of disease?" Simon asked, suddenly wanting to turn and ride away.

Samurai. Copyright © by Jason Hightman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Samurai 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it better than the first book "Saint of Dragons"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amajorbibliophile More than 1 year ago
"Samurai," by Jason Hightman is the second book in the action-packed "Saint of Dragons" series. Full of adventure and surprise, this book is a real-page turner and will not disappoint anyone who reads it, starting from the very first sentence!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Simon St. George is the youngest male descendant of the legendary Saint George. Simon and his father, Aldric, are also the last to carry on the dragon slaying legacy of their ancestor. Or so they think.

Their latest adventure (SAMURAI is the sequel to THE SAINT OF DRAGONS) takes them to the Far East on a hunt for an elusive group of Asian dragons. The father and son team encounter an ancient order of samurai, sworn to defeat the dragons. The samurai and the St. Georges could be powerful allies, if they can all figure out how to work together for the greater good. And if they could all stop keeping secrets and holding grudges. Things that Simon and Aldric are having a few issues with between each other.

Until everyone can unite, the battle between human and dragon rages on.

This story is about more than just the obvious battle, though. It's a battle between east and west, past and present, father and son, and the personal battle each of the main characters has to go through. No struggle is easy. There isn't a whole lot of black and white here. And each decision made, or not made, affects many people.

The top layer is a great adventure. But underneath there are many more levels. Dragons and demons have many faces, and most of them aren't what you'd expect.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is for those who like action-packed fantisy. While I found it unusual that the other group of hunters turned out to be samurai, it's still a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this action-packed, thrilling sequel to The Saint of Dragons the dragons are terrorists and it's up to Simon St. George and his father, Aldric, to hunt the troublesome pests and stop their wrong-doings once and for all. Simon's rocky relationship with his father and his obvious desperation for a girl named Emily to like him give the book a dose of reality alongside the stimulating and surreal dragon battles. The gems of this book are the enlightening descriptions of certain dragons' human guises, interests, occupations, lifestyles, and sadistic pleasures. This book is on fire!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dragons are responsible for the miseries of the world, but only the St. Georges can see them and use the Deathspell to kill them. These malevolent beasts cause natural catastrophes as they live off the suffering and pain of humanity that comes with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that they inflict on mankind. Aldric St. George, his son Simon, and the Magician Alaythia are under constant attack from dragons. Research reveals that when a magician falls in love with a knight, she emits a sound that only dragons hear that hum irritates them so much they track it down to the source to kill the Magician.--------------- Alaythia leaves her beloved men to find a way to muffle the sound in order to keep her mate and his son safe. However Aldric and Simon refuse to let her go alone and catch up to her in Japan where they meet dragon hunting samurai and a St. George they never knew existed. When the Dragon of Japan goes to India, the Tiger Dragon wants to mate with him, then she plans to kill him afterward so he is out of her way while raising their offspring to rule the world. Aldric and company follow knowing they must stop the mating before the carnage begins.----------------- Although SAMURAI is aimed at a teen audience, adults will enjoy this fun urban fantasy though the plot is a bit over the top. The fast-paced story line contains fully developed characters especially the heroic trio who work so well together. However, the key to this solid tale is the antagonists as each dragon is unique with distinct personality traits and eccentricities.----------- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
With 'Samurai,' the author makes a frail attempt to continue the story he started with 'A Saint of Dragons.' 'A Saint of Dragons' wasn't very good to begin with, and 'Samurai' is, in some ways, worse. What little there is to like about this book is mostly mediocre. The rest of it is largely unexciting and unconvincing do to it's plot holes, ignorant characters with little likeability, and poorly told action sequences, which the author fails to properly detail for the reader to envision a clear picture. I didn¿t have great expectations for ¿Samurai,¿ and after reading it, I¿m glad I didn¿t. I give ¿Samurai¿ a score of 2.5 out of 5.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With 'Samurai,' the author makes a frail attempt to continue the story he started with 'A Saint of Dragons.' 'A Saint of Dragons' wasn't very good to begin with, and 'Samurai' is, in some ways, worse. What little there is to like about this book is mostly mediocre. The rest of it is largely unexciting and unconvincing do to it's plot holes, ignorant characters with little likeability, and poorly told action sequences, which the author fails to properly detail for the reader to envision a clear picture. I didn¿t have great expectations for ¿Samurai,¿ and after reading it, I¿m glad I didn¿t. I give ¿Samurai¿ a score of 2.5 out of 5.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book sucksss!!!!!! Id rather shoot myself than read it again!