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Set in the early 17th century under the reign of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun, “The Swords of Silence” — the first book in a mooted trilogy — focuses on the plight of Japan’s hidden Christians and the closing of Japan to foreign trade and relations.

Jesuit proselytiser Joaquim Martinez begins the story in a village in Kyushu, converting locals and learning how to wield a sword, but as bad luck compounds bad decisions, he is forced to flee with his band of converts. They are pursued by an evil daimyo, bakufu officials and the shogun himself, set on eradicating Christianity from Japan’s shores by any means necessary.

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