His name is Baian; his professions are acupuncture and murder. A needle deftly inserted into the human body can bring relief and healing. For the defense of justice and honor — and for the right price — it can also bring instant death.Set in a world of corrupt samurai lords, ruthless merchant princes, fawning geisha, and deadly ninja, Ninja Justice introduces Baian and his friend and accomplice Hikojiro in six tales of murder and deceit, jealousy and revenge.
For something written in 2000 get ready for some (a lot of) misogyny, rape, abuse fantasy… then again that’s pretty common in Adult Japanese lit. I’m looking at you Murakami.
So this is presented as a historical series of stories of how ninjas lived and did their deadly work. Wrong. This is ninja-fantasy at best. Killing needles didn’t exist, no matter how cool they are. No one is likeable in this whole book, and if they are they will probably die. It only gets two stars for using a couple new tropes I hadn’t seen before in fantasy, not historical.
S.W. Wildwood’s Goodreads