If you are a fan of Barry Hughart and his classic "Bridge of Birds," you will know that feeling of a story being gritty and real but magical at the same time. Tale of Shikanoko series is dark and personal but filled to the brim with other worldliness. After I consumed the first the rest fell like dominoes and now they have a permanent place on my bookshelves.— Drew
In the opening pages of the action-packed Book One of Lian Hearn's epic Tale of Shikanoko series, a future lord is dispossessed of his birthright by a scheming uncle, a mountain sorcerer imbues a mask with the spirit of a great stag for a lost young man, a stubborn father forces his son to give up his wife to his older brother, and a powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne, the child who is the rightful heir to the emperor barely escaping the capital in the arms of his sister. And that is just the beginning.
As destiny weaves its rich tapestry, a compelling drama plays out against a background of wild forests, elegant castles, hidden temples, and savage battlefields. This is the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn's imagination, where animal spirits clash with warriors and children navigate a landscape as serene as it is deadly.
The Tale of Shikanoko
Book One: Emperor of the Eight Islands
Book Two: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child
Book Three: Lord of the Darkwood
Book Four: The Tengu's Game of Go
About the Author
Lian Hearn is the pseudonym of a writer--born in England, educated at Oxford, currently living in Australia--who has a lifelong interest in Japan, has lived there, and studies Japanese. She is the author of the bestselling series Tales of the Otori and the Tale of Shikanoko series, which begins with Emperor of the Eight Islands.
“[Emperor of the Eight Islands is] a thrilling, fast-paced fantasy with plot twists, political intrigue, romance, and a richly detailed setting that will appeal to a variety of readers, especially those with an interest in Japanese mythology and otherworldly influences."—Karin Thogersen, Library Journal
"Hearn’s new series is off to an exciting and promising start.” —Kristine Huntley, ALA Booklist
"Hearn begins her new series, The Tale of Shikanoko, by introducing the primary characters while setting up conflicts and relationships that will evolve in the three volumes to follow, all to be published this year . . . he fluid prose and morally ambiguous characters are magically seductive." —Kirkus Reviews
"With meticulous attention to detail for the period, along with a bone-deep appreciation of Japanese culture, Hearn's homage to those masterpieces is as close as we're going to get for the moment and tremendously entertaining in its own right. 'The Tale Of Shikanoko' has romance, intrigue, fantasy, passion, betrayal, sacrifice and the old-fashioned pleasure of truly having no idea what will happen next. Now where the heck are Volumes 3 and 4?” —Michael Giltz, BookFilter