... My little outburst of rage was due to a small trip to AEG's boards, which I really should be immune to by now, that made me forget the reason I went there in the first place were these little gems of fiction.
The First Lesson is nice in that the Sparrow are probably my favourite clan, and the story as a lot of atmosphere going for it. I believe it fails somewhat on a conceptual level due to a worldbuilding bug I can't fault Denton for.
Canonically the Minor Clans have been described as ridicullously small (I don't agree with it and there are quite a few authors who clearly don't follow that rule either). At that level the kind of infiltration done by the Spider doesn't really work which make the Sparrow look unbelievably incompetent.. If, like me, you believe a minor clan can have several thousand samurai this won't be a problem at all, but it make for odd continuity.
One Path, Many Truth, might just be the best tattoed monk story ever writen and the only one to provide actual, reasonable insight about them.