Well, returning to this book was like a well-worn shoe (a ninja shoe!). I hadn’t touched it for about fifteen years, but all the high-points were still there. The pirate ship, the gladiatorial arena, the mountain mystic, the undercover minstrel show and, of course, the endgame.
Don’t let my success at this initial try give you the wrong idea about the book’s difficulty. I had the overwhelming advantage of knowledge built up from coming at this book from every angle in my (much) younger days.
In short, many, many other Avengers through the years gave their lives to help the 2016 model make it through without dying once.
Having said all that, on two occasions I was one bad dice roll away from dying. While trying to clamber up the cliff to meet Togawa, a Fate failure would have meant an extremely messy and bloody patch on the mountainside. Similiarly, if Yaemon had connected with his first kick, the damage of 10 would have rendered my father unavenged.
But! The dice rolled my way, and step one of my quest is complete. Unfortunately, my memory of Book 2 is far more sketchy. My occasional jokes may stray into morbid humour far more often in days and weeks to come.