The Lord of Tears by James Lovegrove is the sequel to The Lord of Void which I reviewed last year. It is book 3 of the 5 book series, The 5 Lords of Pain, in which young Tom Yamada must save the world by defeating five demons.
After a short re-cap the action begins. 18 pages of the first 40 are given over to a epic battle against a host of Shinobi Ghosts. This is one example of some tricky language. It helps describe the Tokyo setting very well, but words like Konnichiwa, Harajuku and Yoyogi may put off a few struggling and reluctant readers the book is ostensibly aimed at.
Lovegrove obviously knows his stuff, there is a nice reference to Death Note manga, And I think he may have also read some Alex Rider books, Tom has his own mind just like the youthful spy.
We learn a little more about the Yamada family history and meet some interesting family members. Including Mai who blackmails him to let her fight in the contest. Tom is hugely conflicted; he knows he should be preparing for the fight but the sense of normality is such a relief. In the end Tom's 'pride' forces his decision to fight. In battle the Lord of Tears is super quick, Tom can't get near him, and he must use his brain to defeat him.
It's pretty dense, long book for a Barrington Stoke publication, and lots of puzzles are going to need solving in the final two stories. I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out.