Black Dove

Book Cover


17th Century or Earlier

Stuart Campbell

  • -
  • Views


Set in 14th Century Feudal Japan, it follows the adventures of a teenage boy Kansai Tokugawa. Kansai lives in the small mountain village of Iga, where he is taught the Martial Arts of Ninjutsu by his uncle. It is when these skills are suddenly required that Kansai realises just what he is capable of



Short Summary

Kansai routinely awakes and does his regular training each morning, usually greeted by a white dove flying up the valley. However, one morning a Black Dove arrives, to his uncles surprise. This is a signal that something terrible has happened and Kansai is caught up in the turmoil.

Kansai realises the futility of war and the part he has played in it. He retreats to the mountains and returns in the next book, where he tries to find himself and free himself from his inner demons.


Japan, Iga provence

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Kansai Tokugawa

Age: 14

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Heroic,Honorable,Naive

Additional Character Details

Name: Mariko Yokoku

Age: 18

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Underdog,Seductive,Charming

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

This book was written from my experience of Martial Arts, especially Ninjutsu. It was to show the true origins of the Ninja and to shatter the Ninja Myths. This was written as a movie and many readers have said it would make an epic Movie. It is based on factual events in that era of history around 1336. Interwoven with the mystical operations of Japans special forces, the Ninja. All of the tactics and strategies are based on the principles taught in the Bujinkan Dojo, from Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu, founded in 1100AD.

About The Author

Stuart Campbell has been studying and teaching Martial Arts for over 40 years. Living in the beautiful country of New Zealand on a lifestyle block he finds inspiration in writing. Also travelling many times to Japan, has inspired him to write a series of novels.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Lulu

Year Published: 2012

Hard Copy Available







Kansai trains under his uncle in the art of Ninjutsu after the disappearance of his father. Kansai trains along with his cousin, Watanabe and Watanabe's crush Mariko. Kansi shows promise with his skills, but the more he learns the more he realizes he needs to dig deeper to find out what happened to his father. Mariko becomes involved in the same mission that Kansai's father failed at and years later the entire dojo must go to war in order to rescue her even though she doesn't remember who she is.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

Pace: GOOD


Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile's logline summarizes the beginning of the book as does the short summary however the majority of the book outside of the training is left out of the summary. As the second book is not a part of the narrative it would make more sense to focus the short summary on the actual chapter of the saga rather than the series. The development pitch explains that this would make a good movie but does not provide further insight into what elements support that claim to further intrigue the audience. The character details only showcasing Kansai and Mariko leave room to also add the antagonists or other roles important to Kansai's development.

Draw of Story

The sprawling epic has so many secrets to uncover and uncovering the wrong secret at the wrong time can make things a lot more complicated. The world is very immersive and simple in nature yet at the same time the politics are highly complex and the fighting is full of tension.

Possible Drawbacks

The female roles feel limited, perhaps outside of Akiko, to their greatest power being seduction. This trope is used from the first introduction of Mariko to almost any female interaction of age turning into a romantic relationship.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Kansai's father and first love both disappeared on a covert mission and Kansai must figure out who is on his side in order to get the right answers about their fate.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large action fanbase unless it gets too tied down by strategy over the actual action and spy network. Feudal Japan as a political drama is a fresh concept for Western markets with dazzling visuals and likeable characters providing a good blend of grittiness and escapism.

Awards Potential

This may have awards potential for its costume and set designs, but the action heavy plot means that the acting range is unlikely to garner recognition. The plot taking precedence over character development means the adaptation could be popular but not win popular awards outside of ensemble nominations.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The originality comes from the lush setting and complex network of betrayal and loyalty between the different clans and towns. The characters are supportable, but giving them more three dimensional development will raise the stakes and create further emotional investment in the external goals.

Lead Characters

Kansai is cool calm and collected with a loyalty and strict moral code that defies societal norms. He is a very upstanding warrior who refuses to give up on his missions. Mariko is a fierce warrior who is brave for using her supposed weaknesses as a woman to overpower her opponents. She is ambitious and goes after what she wants but also has self-preservation.

Uniqueness of Story

This is a cool story full of action but the main characters are static and the mysteries are drawn out in being solved. Much of the book is set up for the last act of the story and even then a lot of the questions presented remain unanswered. By answering more questions and giving the characters more depth and internal conflict, they will have more impact on the meaning of the intricate plot.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

A lot of the characters are missing internal conflicts that don't involve romantic relationships. They are often told of their personalities rather than shown which makes them lack a transformation or seem three dimensional as they are lacking flaws. For example Mariko says Kansai is special but Kansai never proves that idea in front of her nor does he show distinction as a fighter until far later. He has a strong set of morals, but what he thinks about events and what motivates him is less clear. Answering more questions in the first narrative will help the plot make more sense and have higher stakes by increasing the tension rather than using so much of the first and second act as setup.