Tomoe Gozen (novel)

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Tomoe Gozen
First edition
Author Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Illustrator Wendy Adrian Shultz
Country United States
Language English
Series Tomoe Gozen Trilogy
Genre Fantasy, Historical novel
Publisher Ace Books
Publication date
Media type Print Paperback)
ISBN 0-441-81653-3
OCLC 320788272
Followed by The Golden Naginata

Tomoe Gozen is a novel by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, published in 1981. Set in an alternate universe resembling feudal Japan, the book combines the tale of historical female samurai Tomoe Gozen with the legends and creatures of Japanese mythology to create an action-adventure fantasy. It is the first part of the Tomoe Gozen Trilogy which met with some success in the 1980s fantasy novel market. The series is notable for its unusual, highly researched samurai background and feminist story slant.

A revised version of the novel re-titled The Disfavored Hero was published in 1999.

Plot summary[edit]

Tomoe Gozen, a warrior of incredible skill, is the vassal of warlord Shojiro Shigeno. In the process of defeating Shigeno's enemy, the Chinese monk Huan, Tomoe is nearly killed. Huan resurrects her on the condition that she turn against her former master, and after committing a series of evil deeds under Huan's power, Tomoe manages to free herself and becomes ronin, or masterless samurai. The story mostly traces Tomoe's attempts to regain her honour, leading her into conflict with enemies, friends and the samurai culture that created her.


  • Tomoe Gozen is the main character. A young woman of fabled martial skills and beauty.
  • Huan is an evil Chinese monk who exerts magical control over Tomoe.
  • Ushii is Tomoe's friend and comrade, who makes a devilish deal with Huan to save Tomoe's life.
  • Ugo Mohri is the Shogun's champion, a famous warrior who serves as Tomoe's greatest adversary.

External links[edit]

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