With the nineteenth entry in the series, The Samurai, Casca swings and misses dramatically like a called-up minor leaguer facing Nolan Ryan. Of all the Casca books I’ve read, this is the worst of them (so far). I’ve heard conflicting answers as to who was actually writing the later Casca books before Sadler’s death, but whoever was did not succeed here.
Knowing the history of the series, I was expecting a clumsy, stereotypical depiction of ancient Japan. And I got it. But it also has very blocky, clunky prose and flat fight scenes that take away the biggest strength of the Casca series-the ability to have effective action despite its protagonist being, you know, immortal.
Not that it really matters much, because here Casca himself might as well just be a second-rate hired gun in a dull story about dull rivals fighting for power in dull battles. Having all the weaknesses of the Casca books but none of the strengths, The Samurai is something I wouldn’t recommend even to fans of the series.