The new beginning and the grand finale of Lian Hearn's celebrated Tales of the Otori is "rivetingly elegant" (Washington Post). Don't miss the related series, The Tale of Shikanoko.
Heaven's Net Is Wide is the prequel that reveals the full story of Lord Otori Shigeru—the figure who has presided in both life and death over the entire series, the man who represents the true spirit of the Otori Clan. The first and the last tale, it introduces readers to the strange and beautiful world of the Otori and closes the circle where it opened in Across the Nightingale Floor. Set in a mythical, medieval Japan, this epic historical fantasy of revenge and betrayal, honor and loyalty, beauty, passion, and the overwhelming power of love, has enthralled millions of readers the world over—and now, with the cycle complete, its audience will only continue to grow.
Set in a brutal and breathtaking feudal Japan, this lyrical and moving prequel to Hearn's Tales of the Otori and also the fifth and final entry in this epic chronicle of ruthless warlords and ill-fated love (after 2006's The Harsh Cry of the Heron), focuses on the early life of Otori Shigeru, the young heir to the Otori clan. Raised in a strictly hierarchical society that reveres loyalty and honor, the adolescent Shigeru witnesses firsthand how treachery and duplicity play an integral role in the deaths of thousands of Otori warriors, the bloody annihilation of his family and, inevitably, his complete and utter degradation. As a dispossessed heir, Shigeru finds strength and retributive inspiration in the teachings of his former mentor, warrior-monk Matsuda Shingen, and in his illicit relationship with the resourceful Lady Maruyama, whose life has also been devastated by the Tohan. Equal parts historical fiction, high fantasy and revelatory Taoist fable, the now complete Tales of the Otori is a saga to be treasured.
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The First Tale of the Otori, Read First!
If you have interest in reading the series, start with this book. The opening scene is so well written with foretelling elements from the coming adventure. These need to be the first words from the series you read! Heaven's Net is Wide was published last but is the First Tale of the Otori.