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The Iris Fan: A Novel of Feudal Japan (Sano Ichiro #18) by Laura Joh Rowland

02_The Iris Fan CoverPublication Date: December 9, 2014
Minotaur Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Series: Sano Ichiro Mystery Series (Book 18)

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Japan, 1709. The shogun is old and ailing. Amid the ever-treacherous intrigue in the court, Sano Ichiro has been demoted from chamberlain to a lowly patrol guard. His relationship with his wife Reiko is in tatters, and a bizarre new alliance between his two enemies Yanagisawa and Lord Ienobu has left him puzzled and wary. Sano’s onetime friend Hirata is a reluctant conspirator in a plot against the ruling regime. Yet, Sano’s dedication to the Way of the Warrior—the samurai code of honor—is undiminished.

I’m sadden by the end of such a captivating run. I’m sure Rowland’s next endeavor will be equalling enthralling and entertaining as this fabulous series.

The Iris Fan does not disappoint with providing a riveting ending to a wonderful series. I will miss Sano and his family, I feel as if I am saying farewell to an old friend. We have experienced the multitude of challenges Sano faced, the hardships and consequences his family endured with his choices and undying allegiance to honor. By involving Sano’s family in the narrative, it added an extra level of drama causing the reader to become very familiar and fond of the entire family and their overall well being.

The Iris Fan provides nonstop action, high drama, suspense, power struggles, vengeance, of course mystery and romance. The characters cause the peruser to feel pangs of endearment and loathing, kindness and harshness. A few characters more memorable than others, nonetheless the players all impressive. Rowland has no problem building momentum as the story progresses until the climatic ending. The intellectual touch Rowland adds to the plot makes it rather difficult to pinpoint the culprit, an element I always appreciate. Well written, entertaining historical matter presented, fabulous characters and a solid narrative weaved with secondary story lines create an exciting reading experience. The heavy hand of the supernatural in this particular installment gave a kick to both character and story, I enjoyed it very much. A series worth reading, highly recommend Rowland and her creative authorship. I will miss you Sano Ichirō. Mystery fans, don’t miss this finely crafted series with a fascinating setting in a harsh era.

The Sano Ichiro Mystery Series Titles

The Way of the Traitor
The Concubine’s Tattoo
The Samurai’s Wife
Black Lotus
The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria
The Dragon King’s Palace
The Perfumed Sleeve
The Assassin’s Touch
The Red Chrysanthemum
The Snow Empress
The Fire Kimono
The Cloud Pavilion
The Ronin’s Mistress
The Incense Game
The Shogun’s Daughter
The Iris Fan

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author03_Laura Joh Rowland

Granddaughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants, Laura Joh Rowland grew up in Michigan and where she graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and a Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She is the author of sixteen previous Sano Ichiro thrillers set in feudal Japan. The Fire Kimono was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s “Five Best Historical Mystery Novels”; and The Snow Empress and The Cloud Pavilion were among Publishers Weekly’s Best Mysteries of the Year. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband. She has worked as a chemist, microbiologist, sanitary inspector and quality engineer.

For more information please visit Laura’s website. You can also follow her on Facebook.

The Iris Fan Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, December 9
Book Blast, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 10
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse

Thursday, December 11
Review at Buried Under Books

Friday, December 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads

Monday, December 15
Book Blast at Layered Pages

Tuesday, December 16
Review at Book Dilletante
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Wednesday, December 17
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, December 19
Review at Unshelfish
Book Blast at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Monday, December 22
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, December 23
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, January 5
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, January 7
Review at Book Babe
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

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Leave a comment


  1. I love reading about Japan maybe I’ll start this book series soon

    • Fabulous series, the setting really adds to it. I know you’d enjoy it. All 18 books are terrific. Gonna miss this series. Thank you for commenting and stopping by.

  2. Lotus

     /  December 23, 2014

    I’m glad I still have several more to read in this series as I think she is a great author!


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