Originally published on my blog at therelentlessreader.blogspot.comOnce I started reading The Third Son I couldn't stop. When I absolutely had to get up I found myself walking and reading at the same time.This book contained some of my favorite things to read about; a bit of politics, a lot of Asian culture, and a historical setting. Win, win, win! It was also a quick read, which is surprising when you consider the heavy subject matter.Saburo is a wonderful protagonist with a convincing voice. There are few people that treat him well. He is constantly hungry as the best rations go to his older brothers. He is often bruised from being beaten with a stick of bamboo. But there is a small voice of optimism inside of Saburo that keeps him going.My favorite scenes in this novel are when Saburo arrives in America for the first time. He is intelligent and curious and it was delightful to read these scenes in which his naivete and innocence come to the fore.If I had one problem it was with the secondary characters that can come across as one dimensional. The destructive actions of some of Saburo's family members are hard to understand and seem to be purely evil. On the other hand, some of those characters sure are fun to hate!I absolutely recommend The Third Son. Wholeheartedly.