Craig Shreve has a powerful second novel coming out in 2023 titled The African Samurai. The novel will explore the true story of Yasuke, Japan’s first foreign-born samurai and the only samurai of African descent. It has also been picked up by Netflix for a five-part live-action series titled Yasuke.

The novel will be published by Simon & Schuster in Canada in 2023. It is also slated for international reissue by Alta in Brazil and Vulkan in Serbia.

The African Samurai is a historical novel set in late 16th century Africa, India, and Japan, and tells the story of Yasuke, an East African enslaved captive traveling in a Portuguese trade ship to Kuchinotsu, Japan in 1579. A young but experienced soldier, Yasuke was “taken from his village as a boy, sold as a slave to mercenaries and forced to fight in Indian wars that meant nothing to him.” Arriving in Japan, Yasuke soon rises up the ranks to become the first and only African samurai in history.

Read the full book description below:

In central Japan, Oda Nobunaga, the land’s most powerful warlord, is preparing a campaign to complete the unification of a nation that’s been torn apart by over a hundred years of civil war. A riot brings the slave, Yasuke, in front of the warlord, Nobunaga, and the two men from vastly different worlds develop a trust and respect for one another.

When Yasuke is granted the role of samurai, a title that has never before been granted to a foreigner, not all are happy with his ascension. Slowly but surely shaking off the chains of his past life, Yasuke flourishes in his new role. There are whispers that he may soon be made a lord himself, given his own fief, his own servants, his own samurai to command, but all of Yasuke’s dreams hinge on his ability to protect his new lord Nobunaga from threats both military and political, and from enemies both without and within.

We cannot wait to get our hands on this novel and find out more about Yasuke’s journey as an African samurai! Based on the thrilling description, it sounds like a perfect blend of adventure and action for a Netflix series.

See Shreve’s reaction to his novel getting picked up by Netflix below:

Omar Sy, the star of TV Series Lupin, has been cast in the role of Yasuka in the Netflix series. Sy and Nick Jones Jr., the screenwriter for the Yasuke anime adaptation, will serve as executive producers of the upcoming series along with 21 Laps and Significant Productions. 21 Laps has produced many popular Netflix shows in the past including The Adam ProjectShadow and Bone and Stranger Things.

Craig Shreve was born and raised in North Buxton, Ontario, and lives in Toronto. Shreve is a graduate of the University of Guelph and the School for Writers at Humber College. Shreve is the author of One Night in Mississippi (2015). His debut novel’s manuscript was a semi-finalist for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award.

Congrats to Shreve on the upcoming novel and Netflix series!