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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
A Warrior's Heart: Convocation is the third book in the Warrior’s Heart trilogy by L. Neil Thrussell. Set in the Marshall Islands, it completes the story of the friendship and mentorship between a young pilot named Graham and Akio, an elderly WWII Japanese soldier marooned alone for decades on an uninhabited island. Akio, a master of Shin Dao, trained Graham when they found themselves on the island together, utterly transforming Graham’s outlook on life. As Convocation opens, they’re in the hospital after Master Akio suffered a heart attack, was taken to Majuro Atoll, and became the focus of international diplomatic and media attention. When Master Akio dies shortly after they return to their quiet island, Graham must decide what his future direction will be.
In A Warrior's Heart: Convocation, L. Neil Thrussell gives us an inspirational tale of true friendship, self-discovery, and personal transformation. Not having read the first two books in the trilogy, I was concerned that Convocation wouldn’t stand alone, but enough background is woven in so that the story is complete. However, it made me want to read the first two books to see the unfolding and development of the relationship between Master Akio and Graham. This bond is so mature in Convocation that they don’t need spoken words to communicate, and death doesn’t separate them. Master Akio is an exemplary character, strong in body and self-discipline as well as kind, compassionate, humble, and happy in his dealings with others. The narrative is engaging, well-paced, and suitable for both adult and young adult readers.