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Ninja Cycle Books In Order

Publication Order of Nicholas Linnear/Ninja Cycle Books

The Ninja (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Miko (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
White Ninja (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Kaisho (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Floating City (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Second Skin (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Ninja Cycle series is a series of thriller, crime fiction, and suspense series written by the popular American novelist named Eric Van Lustbader. This series is also referred to as Nicholas Linnear series, based on the main character of the series. There are basically 6 books published in the series in total, which were released between the years 1980 and 1995. In the year 2014, author Eric Lustbander published an ebook titled ‘The Death and Life of Nicholas Linnear’. As of now, he is working on the next book in the series, which is expected to be published soon. All the books of the Ninja Cycle series depicted Nicholas Linnear as the lead character. He is introduced by author Eric Lustbander as a martial arts specialist of various styles in the post war Japan. The initial story of the series begins at the time when Nicholas Linnear gets the martial arts training along with his cousin named Saigo. During a small duel competition, Nicholas defeats Saigo as well as a fellow student. This causes the development of bitter feelings in the heart of Saigo against Nicholas Linnear and his rage, he rapes Nicholas as well as his girlfriend. He even kills Nicholas’s girlfriend. Later, Nicholas sets out to find Saigo and take revenge of the atrocities that he did not him and his girlfriend.

Author Lustbander has described Nicholas Linnear as a half-Chinese, half-Western, who grows up in Japan. This series appears to be the best one among all the ninja series available because of the well written and effectively depicted action scenes. Author Lustbander’s devotion to build a believable mysticism of the Eastern culture adds more color to the series. The world of the ninjas’s, called as Ninjutsu, that author Lusbander has introduced in the series appears to be very realistic. Also, the world that the author has constructed around the villains and heroes in the series seems very much believable. Each and every page of the books are filled with the rich customs of the Japanese culture. All the characters are shown as encountering a battle of will and wit. The way author Lustbander has developed the plots make them highly intriguing, which keeps the readers scratching their heads till the very end. Along with all these features, author Lustbander has also injected heavy doses of believable and intriguing emotions into the series. The series is considered to be a must read for all those readers who have interests in learning about the East Asian culture. What makes the series even more interesting to read is that author used incredible knowledge about the concepts of shinki kiitsu and giri very well as storytelling elements in the books. Due to this, the readers not only get to read and enjoy, but also get a chance to learn while reading.

The first novel in the Ninja Cycle series written by author Eric Van Lustbander is titled as ‘The Ninja’. It was released in the year 198o by the Fawcett publication. This novel describes a tale of love, revenge, and murder. Author Lustbander has blended the novel with numerous themes such as suspense, crime, and the mysticism of the Japanese martial arts. The overall plot of the book is divided into 5 parts and each part is called a ‘ring’. The initial plot opens during the post Second World War Japan and introduces the hero named Nicholas Linnear as a man brought up by his Anglo-Chinese parents. Nicholas gets introduced to Kenjutsu, iai-jutsu, and Aikido, at a very young age. He receives training for these forms of martial arts at a local Dojo. The training is also attended by the violent and cruel cousin of Nicholas named Saigo. Being a natural learner, Nicholas adepts to the training lesson very quickly and this annoys Saigo. At the time of a training exercise, Saigo and Nicholas are asked to fight a duel, in which Saigo is defeated by Nicholas. This makes Saigo enraged and he swears to take revenge. When the two meet again after some years, Saigo appears to have developed his martial arts skills more than Nicholas and he eventually defeats him. Later, Saigo enrolls himself to learn the techniques of black Ninjutsu and becomes a ninja. Nicholas too trains to learn the better and purer form of Ninjutsu.

As ninjas, Linnear and Saigo are described as supreme martial artists as they reach the highest level. Also, they seek to achieve even higher goals as a ninja. They begin to sense the world in a different way. But, it is also shown that all these things do not come without a personal cost. After a few years, Linnear moves to America and begins to live a peaceful life. There, he meets a beautiful woman name Justine and falls in love with her. However, Linnear’s peaceful life is shattered when he learns that a local businessman is killed by getting poisoned by a ninja Shuriken. Being an expert on the ninja techniques, Linnear is approached by the local police for help in the matter. After the initial investigation, he comes to know that the murderer is a ninja and senses that his next target is the father of his new girlfriend named Raphael Tomkin. Linnear works as the bodyguard of Raphael and befriends a local detective named Lew Croaker for providing extra security to Raphael. After further investigations, Linnear comes to know that Saigo is the ninja who killed the businessman and is now trying to kill Raphael Tomkin. The cousins are once again put on a course of the deadly collision. Now, Nicholas is required to use all his ninja prowess to stop Saigo. He knows that this won’t be an easy task because Saigo too is a well trained ninja.

One of the other novels released in the Ninja Cycle series is titled as ‘Second Skin’. This book was published in the year 1995 by the HarperCollins publication. The start of the novel shows that Nicholas Linnear wins a major battle with the Floating City’s destruction. But, his enemy manages to remain alive and moves to Vietnam in order to regroup. He intends to plan his assault on Nicholas in a more solid manner, thereby destroying him and establishing his ultimate power. This enemy, Mick Leonforte, is known to be a popular internationally powerful corporate person as well as a crime boss. He prepares to take on Nicholas on the common battleground of warfare and business. Nicholas too gets ready with the help of police detective from New York City, Lew Croaker, and the cunning Vesper Arkham. However, his rivalry with Mick Leonforte lands Koei, whom he loves very much, in a great trouble. Mick sets his eyes on her to cause more trouble to Nicholas. Due to this, he gets plunged into the depths of a terrible force called kshira, which even his master seems unable escape from.

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