An explosive novel of ancient cunning and modern power; the first Novel of the Fated Blades. Mariko Oshiro is not your average tokyo cop. As the only female detective in the city's most elite police unit, she has to fight for every ounce of respect. While she wants to track down a rumoured cocaine shipment, her boss gives her the least promising case possible. But the case - the attempted theft of an old samurai sword - proves more dangerous than anyone could have imagined ...the owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumoured to have magical qualities. the man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma, one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it - or so says Yamada. And though he has studied swords and swordsmanship all his life, Mariko isn't convinced. But Mariko's scepticism hardly matters. Her investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield herself could turn against her.