The first instalment in a magnificent epic by the creator of the global phenomenon the TALES OF THE Otori, Lian Hearn, whose books have sold over four million copies worldwide
An ambitious warlord leaves his nephew for dead and seizes his lands.
A stubborn father forces his younger son to surrender his wife to his older brother.
A mysterious woman seeks five fathers for her children.
A powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne.
These are the threads of an intricate tapestry in which the laws of destiny play out against a backdrop of wild forest, elegant court, and savage battlefield. Set in a mythical medieval Japan inhabited by warriors and assassins, ghosts and guardian spirits, Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn is a brilliantly imagined novel, full of drama and intrigue - the beginning of an enthralling, epic adventure: The Tale of Shikanoko.
'Brutally thrilling historical fantasy' Herald Sun
'Wildly successful... Convince[s] as if being read in translation, as if Hearn is merely the medium for some lost and ancient text. Much like Game of Thrones, the book can be read as political intrigue, with great strength deriving from the character studies. Nobody is black or white, rather shades of grey' The Age
'Moves onwards with the narrative force of a flood. It is easy to let the book sweep the reader away, to engage with strange events... very compelling characters [and] huge imaginative vitality' Sydney Morning Herald
'The action comes thick and fast . . . Compelling characters and captivating worldbuilding' Japan Times
'A must-read' Aurealis
'One of the great joys of genre novels is that they usually care deeply about plot, satisfying the innately human desire for story. And there is story aplenty here. The unfolding events are so fascinating, the writing so lithe and seductive. There's no need to have read Hearn's earlier Otori series, set in the same remarkable fantasy world, to enjoy this one. Indeed, her new epic seems sure to recruit a fresh legion of fans' The Saturday Paper
'Stands alone for fine storytelling' West Australian
'Colourful and fascinating characters' Courier Mail
LORD OF THE DARKWOOD: Books 3 and 4 in THE TALE OF SHIKANOKO.
Don't miss any of the novels in the OTORI saga
ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR
GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW
BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON
THE HARSH CRY OF THE HERON
HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE
In this series opener, Hearn (Heaven's Net Is Wide) takes inspiration from Japanese classics to tell a tale of warring clans and unusual magic. There has been friction between the Kakizuki and Miboshi clans for years, and now it is all coming to a head. The emperor's life is failing and each clan supports a different son as his successor. Into these grand events steps the young man Kumayama no Kazumaru, once heir of his clan but now dispossessed by his uncle and left for dead in the Darkwood. He is rescued there by the mountain sorcerer, Shisoku, but also transformed by strange rituals. Now called Shikanoko, "the deer's child," and possessing a magical stag mask, he struggles to direct his fate. Shikanoko is captured, released, instructed, and controlled by a series of lords and wise men, coming ever closer to mastery of his forest power. Eventually, his own destiny becomes entwined with that of the empire. This fast-paced tale of dynastic change intriguingly sets up the remaining three books in the series.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Gave it a good go...
But this book leaves a lot to be desired.
This is a list of characters (names mostly) dragged through a contorted plot with increasingly surreal fantasy plastered over a historical context.
I always try to give the authors a good go but this is one of only a handful of books I've abandoned in my life - gave up just after half way. Sorry.