The most recommended ninja books

Who picked these books? Meet our 32 experts.

32 authors created a book list connected to ninjas, and here are their favorite ninja books.
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Book cover of Essence of Ninjutsu

Chris Bradford Author Of The Way of the Warrior

From my list on samurais and ninjas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a black belt martial artist and top ten bestselling children’s author with a life goal of ‘getting kids reading’. As an author, I practise what I term ‘method writing’. For my Young Samurai series, I trained in samurai swordsmanship, karate, ninjutsu, and earned my black belt in Zen Kyu Shin Taijutsu. This ensures my books are not only authentic but have the impact of a flying front kick. Hopefully, my stories will knock you out!

Chris' book list on samurais and ninjas

Chris Bradford Why did Chris love this book?

The 34th grandmaster of ninjutsu, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi has written many books on the art of the ninja. This is one of his best and examines over 1,000 years of the history and legends of the shadow warriors. A seminal book that provided the foundation to my own ninjutsu practise under one of Hatsumi’s students, Sensei Peter Brown. The secrets I learnt proved crucial to writing book 4 of the Young Samurai series, The Ring of Earth when Jack is taken in by a ninja clan.

By Masaaki Hatsumi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Essence of Ninjutsu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Looking back almost 1,000 years, the mists of Japan's chaotic past shroud the development of a way of life, an ancient struggle waged against fierce feudal lords who ruled the island nation with swords of steel and a code of death before dishonor. The people of the mountainous regions of what is now Iga prefecture wanted to live in peace, but their lords had other plans-so the people learned the martial arts of self-defense and used their meager farm tools as weapons against the samurai blades of their oppressors. Nine traditions of the ninja arts grew out of this seemingly…


Book cover of The Battle Begins

Kit Falbo Author Of The Crafting of Chess

From my list on feeding your inner nerd.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an autistic unapologetic writing nerd who has spent most of their life using fiction and pop culture to connect better with the world. It has always been the tool, escape, and comfort for me when I feel overwhelmed. As I bite my tongue to keep from monologuing, I always strive to share, introduce, or connect with my passions. Now I use that and my degree in psychology to try to craft worlds that people can feel emotional about in my writing and poetry.

Kit's book list on feeding your inner nerd

Kit Falbo Why did Kit love this book?

Another Litrpg, Seth enters a Virtual Reality game set in a fantasy feudal Japan as the technology allows him to function better while recovering from an injury taken during a martial arts tournament. For me, the setting got me worked up. I spent a decade of my gaming life playing Legend of the Five Rings, a similarly feudal Japan-inspired game world. Clans, factions, betrayals, and samurai. It brought me back to my youth in a way that few pieces of media do. 

By Nikita Thorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Battle Begins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How Often Do You Get a Second Chance in Life?
Seth Kinnaman’s dream has always been to become the best fighter the world has ever seen. After spending his entire life training, he’s finally ready to test his skills in the biggest tournament on Earth where hundreds of the fiercest competitors vie for the supreme title.

In the semi-finals, Seth is getting the upper hand when his opponent uses an illegal blow to take him out. Upon waking up from a coma, Seth finds out he’s lost his sight. He’s become blind and he’s completely devastated. All his dreams are…


Book cover of Unix Power Tools

Ian Miell Author Of Learn Bash the Hard Way: Master Bash Using The Only Method That Works

From my list on becoming a Linux command line ninja.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most geeks, I've always loved efficiency and productivity. Coming from a Windows-dominated world, the command line I was faced with in my CompSci degree was Initially mystifying, but over time I have come to see it as the most powerful human-computer interface out there. After spending years wresting with the command line at work, I decided to write a book on bash, and have blogged extensively on this and related topics. I also run live courses on bash and the command line for O'Reilly. There's nothing I enjoy more than opening people's eyes to the power of the shell!   

Ian's book list on becoming a Linux command line ninja

Ian Miell Why did Ian love this book?

I've saved the best to last.

Once I'd covered the command line basics, then I bought this book and kept it by my bed for a couple of years, imbibing its contents over and over.

It contains so many examples of how the command line can be used in real-world situations, as well as more practical advice and timeless tips. It feels like you've got four experts at your shoulder helping you get better.

It's so good I'm going to start re-reading it as soon as I've finished writing this.

By Shelly Powers, Jerry Peek, Tim O'Reilly , Mike Loukides

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unix Power Tools as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the growing popularity of Linux and the advent of Darwin, Unix has metamorphosed into something new and exciting. No longer perceived as a difficult operating system, more and more users are discovering the advantages of Unix for the first time. But whether you are a newcomer or a Unix power user, you'll find yourself thumbing through the goldmine of information in the new edition of Unix Power Tools to add to your store of knowledge. Want to try something new? Check this book first, and you're sure to find a tip or trick that will prevent you from learning…


Book cover of The Book of Five Rings

Tobias Hurwitz

From Tobias' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Guitar shredder Teacher Mentor Creator

Tobias' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Tobias Hurwitz Why did Tobias love this book?

Japanese Samurai culture has been dumbed down by film and TV until it’s not much different from Hollywood’s portrayals of the Wild West. What of the real 16th-century Samurai? What does he have to say? What of the deepest Zen wisdom that enabled him to survive and stay calm while fighting against overwhelming odds?

According to legend, the greatest Samurai swordsman of all time was Miyamoto Musashi, who penned this book. Musashi’s Zen wisdom – straight from feudal Japan - reads like fine poetry and can be applied to today’s world, much like Sun Zu’s The Art of War. Zen is a part of Buddhism and yet, paradoxically, a part of combat.

This book makes me think, makes me feel, makes me ponder the nature of life, spirituality, and death. Highly recommended! 

By Miyamoto Musashi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Book of Five Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The complete and official edition of the original Japanese text. Translated by Prof. Nabiki Imagawa and Prof. James Ashcroft in 2019 to fix all the previous mistakes present in the old public editions. This is the recommended edition for university specialists and experts in Japanese history who want the full uncensored version of The Book of 5 Rings as the samurai Miyamoto Musashi wrote it in 1645.


Book cover of The Mystic Arts of the Ninja

Martin Schiller Author Of The Faceless Man

From my list on spy/detectives with strong female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is an adage that urges the writer to write about what they know, and I have followed this to the letter. In addition to being an author, I have worked as a private investigator. I have also trained at two martial arts schools that specialize in Ninjutsu; Genbukan Yamato Dojo, and Bujinkan. Moreover, as a patrolman, and an ambulance driver, I have had the privilege of serving with female partners, lending me a valuable insight into the struggles that they face in otherwise male-dominated fields. But this is not all; I am also an occultist, making me familiar with things that most people would not even believe exist.😊

Martin's book list on spy/detectives with strong female characters

Martin Schiller Why did Martin love this book?

Every good book requires research, and in the case of my book, I feel that the best source for information concerning the legendary Ninja of Japan, and their shadowy Art, comes to us by way of Stephen K. Hayes, who introduced this subject to the West through his many books. The Mystic Arts of the Ninja not only showcases the weapons and the martial arts of the Ninja (which was vital in building my character, Ms. Adelaide DeMarcy) but provides a valuable insight into their mystical practices.

By Stephen Hayes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mystic Arts of the Ninja as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ninja . . . that single word conjures up images of mystery and power. The ability to move swiftly and silently, to mesmerize one's victim, to strike infallibly, and then to disappear into the night--this is the legend of the ninja. These nearly sorcerous aspects of the ninja, as well as the exotic weapons they use, are the focus of The Mystic Arts of the Ninja. Its author, Shidoshi Stephen K. Hayes, is the sole American to be granted teaching credentials by the 34th grandmaster of the Togokure School of Ninjutsu in Japan. Going beyond the basic conditioning and training…


Book cover of Vertical Run

Tom Barber Author Of Nine Lives

From my list on beating the odds, the villain, and your personal demons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been drawn to stories of good versus evil and watching a hero overcome a great struggle to beat a villain and win the day. I feel it’s innate in humans to want to hear such tales ever since the days gathered around the campfires thousands of years ago, and when it’s done well, it can be a story that inspires you in your own life. Hopefully, these novels can do the same for you! 

Tom's book list on beating the odds, the villain, and your personal demons

Tom Barber Why did Tom love this book?

I love a good hidden gem, and this book was recommended to me by a friend as a return gesture after I got him to watch Die Hard. This book mostly takes place within an office building in Midtown, following that theme, and is very inventive as the lead character finds himself suddenly plunged into the worst day of his life, with almost everyone he meets trying to kill him.

Some of the plot arguably gets a little bit shaky in places, but there is enough here to satisfy fans of the genre.

By Joseph R. Garber,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Vertical Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You think YOU had a killer workday. . .
Get ready for the FASTEST thriller of the summer!

Each morning in his 45th floor executive office, David Elliot savors the quiet
moments until the workday begins.

Until today, when his boss walks in and aims a gun at him.

For the rest of the day, he will be trapped in his midtown office building, and
everyone David Elliot meets will try to kill him.

He has 24 hours to find out why. . .

In Vertical Run, you can escape into a world on fast forward, a drama
that plays…


Book cover of BookBub Ads Expert

Mary Helen Sheriff Author Of Launch Pad: The Countdown to Marketing Your Book

From my list on authors who want to sell more books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that people need stories and book marketing done well can help readers find the stories they need to craft a more hope-filled, compassionate, and meaningful life. The authors I meet are sharp and creative, but many don’t have experience with book marketing. I find coaching authors to amplify their platforms is a rewarding way to support the community. My front-row seat to watching my clients’ dreams become reality is so inspiring. This book was a collaboration of book marketing experts, whom I admire, and I was so honored they agreed to share their insights with our readers. 

Mary Helen's book list on authors who want to sell more books

Mary Helen Sheriff Why did Mary Helen love this book?

While BookBub ads are the easiest to set up, creating a successful campaign is more difficult. Since it costs money to test campaign features, it is wise to learn what you can before you start. 

The guidance this book provides can help you to find success with your ads more quickly and spend less money on the learning phase.

By David Gaughran,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked BookBub Ads Expert as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Let's Get Digital and Strangers to Superfans comes a guide to advertising on the world's hottest book marketing platform: BookBub Ads.

*Create attractive ad images to turn browsers into buyers.
*Optimize your targeting to attract the right readers.
*Manage your bids effectively to drive more sales for less money.
*Learn when to run your BookBub campaigns for maximum impact.
*Boost discovery of your books and improve visibility.
*Train the retailers to recommend your books to the right customers.
*Turbocharge series sales to dominate the charts with multiple books simultaneously.

BookBub Ads Expert will teach you everything…


Book cover of The Ninja

Richard Doetsch Author Of The 13th Hour: Chaos

From my list on thrillers break the mold with characters and story.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an adrenaline junky—years of kitesurfing, skydiving, bungee jumping, Zero Gravity training—I have a passion for thrills and adventure, coupled with the love for my soulmate, Virginia, since we were kids, I live what I write and write what I live. Of course, I filter it all through my vivid imagination to raise the stakes and pull you in. When I look for a great book, it’s tough to get my blood flowing, to get me excited, but these books are the nearest thing to the thrill of freefalling and having your first chute fail to open (been there, done that. Thank, God for the reserve chute!). These books are truly unique, putting you on the edge of your seat and leaving you wanting more.

Richard's book list on thrillers break the mold with characters and story

Richard Doetsch Why did Richard love this book?

This was the first book I read twice. It was groundbreaking back in the ’80s. A mixture of cultures, assassins, adventure, thrills, love, sex, and passion. A huge bestseller at the time. His detail of Japanese philosophy, fighting styles, honor, and code in a modern-day world is beyond captivating.

While he went on to a huge success with dozens of bestsellers, nothing topped this. It was a lifetime of daydreaming and research that he poured out onto the page.

I read it in two days on the beach under the sun and stars. Five days later, I read it again. I couldn’t get the story out of my head.

By Eric Van Lustbader,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ninja as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this New York Times–bestselling thriller, a martial artist’s past returns to haunt him—in the form of a murderous ninja.
 
Raised in Japan by a British father and a Chinese mother, young Nicholas Linnear felt at home only in the dojo, where he gave himself over to mastering ninjutsu—the ancient art of the ninja. Over years of training, he ascended to the highest ranks imaginable—until a confrontation over the very meaning of ninjutsu changed his approach to martial arts forever, sending him on a journey that would take him across the globe.
 
Now, after years of success in the advertising…


Book cover of The Decoy Princess

Mandy Burkhead Author Of The Black Lily

From my list on fantasy featuring a lady spy/assassin.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been drawn to badass female protagonists in fantasy, but the femme fatale has a special place in my heart, and none more so than spies and assassins. Their weapons are a mix of daggers and subterfuge, poison, and seduction. They often straddle the line between cold-hearted villainess and righteous freedom fighter, and that complex morality can make for intriguing internal struggles that coincide nicely with their goal of dismantling corruption, which is not always black and white. Additionally, the aforementioned seduction means that they get to be unapologetically sexual (but only on their terms!). All of this went into Lily’s character.

Mandy's book list on fantasy featuring a lady spy/assassin

Mandy Burkhead Why did Mandy love this book?

Tess learns that she is not actually a princess but a decoy, and that the king and queen, who raised her as their child, have hidden the real princess away in a convent for her protection. It would explain why the chancellor taught her the arts of diplomacy, politics, self-defense, and subterfuge and had her build up a tolerance to poison. Despite feeling betrayed by her parents, after they are murdered by a usurper, she has to use all of her skills learned since childhood to reclaim the throne for the actual princess. While Tess is a bit bratty in the beginning (not surprising since she thinks she’s a princess), she develops into a mature (but still snarky) spy. The sequel, Princess at Sea, continues her adventure after restoring her “sister” to the throne.

By Dawn Cook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Decoy Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Princess Contessa of Constenopolie has just learned of her true identity-that of an orphan adopted and raised as a decoy to protect the real princess. That doesn't make Contessa less of a royal target.


Book cover of Samurai William: The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

Chris Bradford Author Of The Way of the Warrior

From my list on samurais and ninjas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a black belt martial artist and top ten bestselling children’s author with a life goal of ‘getting kids reading’. As an author, I practise what I term ‘method writing’. For my Young Samurai series, I trained in samurai swordsmanship, karate, ninjutsu, and earned my black belt in Zen Kyu Shin Taijutsu. This ensures my books are not only authentic but have the impact of a flying front kick. Hopefully, my stories will knock you out!

Chris' book list on samurais and ninjas

Chris Bradford Why did Chris love this book?

This historical biography reads like an adventure story. A brilliantly researched and wonderfully written book on William Adams, one of the few foreign samurai to have ever been bestowed such an honour. This figure is not only the starting point for my series (with William Adams re-imagined as a boy in Japan) but also the template for the most classic samurai novels of all time, Shogun by James Clavell. There is so much in this book by Giles Milton that I can’t recommend it highly enough!

By Giles Milton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Samurai William as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1611 an astonishing letter arrived at the East India Trading Company in London after a tortuous seven-year journey. Englishman William Adams was one of only twenty-four survivors of a fleet of ships bound for Asia, and he had washed up in the forbidden land of Japan.

The traders were even more amazed to learn that, rather than be horrified by this strange country, Adams had fallen in love with the barbaric splendour of Japan - and decided to settle. He had forged a close friendship with the ruthless Shogun, taken a Japanese wife and sired a new, mixed-race family.…