Heaven’s Net is Wide by Lian Hearn (Hardback, 2007) Tales of the Otori Hardcover
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, 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 honour, 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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