A self-assured warrior stumbles into a game of Go that turns fatal. An ambitious lord leaves his nephew for dead and seizes his lands. A stubborn father forces his son to give up his wife to his older brother. A powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne. A woman of the Old People seeks five fathers for her five children, who will go on to found the Spider Tribe and direct the fate of the country.
As destiny weaves its tapestry in Lian Hearn's Tale of Shikanoko series, an emotionally rich and compelling drama plays out against a background of wild forests, elegant castles, hidden temples, and savage battlefields in Autumn Princess, Dragon Child.
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book One: Emperor of the Eight Islands (April 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Two: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (June 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Three: Lord of the Darkwood (August 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Four: The Tengu's Game of Go (September 2016)
This second volume of the Tale of Shikanoko quartet by Hearn (following Emperor of the Eight Islands) builds upon the magic and conflict of its predecessor. Hearn takes cultural elements from medieval Japan and uses them to create this wonderful fantasy realm, complete with its own supernatural forces. Shikanoko, now freed from the control of the evil Prince Abbot, stumbles in a haze back to the Darkwood, where he once again encounters mountain sorcerer Shisoku and the mysterious Lady Tora. Tora dies soon after giving birth to five spider children, boys with special powers who emerge from cocoons and whom Shikanoko must raise. Aki, the Autumn Princess, hides in the forest with Yoshimori, the true imperial heir, while she tries to determine how they will survive and where they will go next to avoid the men of Lord Aritomo, the usurper. Meanwhile the schemer and turncoat Masachika tries to advance himself in any way he can, whether through battle, espionage, or blackmail. Scoundrels and innocents, wizards and itinerant performers, lowly servants and mighty nobles all play their parts on this stage.