In 1579, an enormous East African slave named Yasuke arrives in Japan, serving as the bodyguard for a high-ranking Jesuit missionary.
A riot brings the slave, Yasuke, in front of Japan's most powerful figure, the warlord Oda Nobunaga.
The friendship they form will make history, but all of Yasuke’s hopes hinge on his ability to protect his new lord Nobunaga from threats both military and political, and from enemies both without and within.
African Samurai is based on the true life story of Yasuke, history’s first foreign born samurai, and the only samurai to ever be of African descent.
'Shreve tells an extraordinary story with dramatic intensity, sensitivity, and consummate imagination. Like all the best historical novels, it feels relevant and even essential to our present moment. Of the many admirable things about this novel, perhaps the greatest is Shreve’s feat of breathing life into Yasuke, its central character, and rescuing this remarkable man from obscurity' DAVID BEZMOZGIS, award-winning author of Immigrant City and The Betrayers
'A complex and deeply moving story . . . that powerfully resonates with our current times. The deftly drawn characters of European, Asian and African origin inhabit a sometimes frightening but ultimately hopeful story due to Shreve’s immense skills at illuminating the power of the human spirit' JEFFREY COLVIN, award-winning author of Africville
'A sweeping historical epic anchored by one man's fight for survival and the search for a home and identity ripped away. Fearlessly told and painstakingly crafted, The African Samurai explores rare literary territory and tells a singular, visceral tale of discovery and endurance' — KEVIN HARDCASTLE, award-winning author of In the Cage and Debris
'Ripped through this. Tense, gripping, visual page-turner. Loved it. Full immersion Samurai. Fans of ‘Shogun’ will love it.' - CONN IGGULDEN, bestselling author of Empire and The Gates of Rome
'There were several moments when I would read a chapter and lay the book down for hours, pondering on Mr Shreve's breadth of imagination and sparse prose. Breathtakingly visual with dialogue that's filled with insights and wisdom, The African Samurai is a must read for anyone who wants a glimpse into the inhumanity of slavery, and the possibilities that freedom (and acceptance) makes possible.' - FEMI KAYODE, award winning screenwriter, and author of Lightseekers