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 - and it is just the beginning of an enthralling, epic adventure: The Tale of Shikanoko.
Against a background of wild forest, elegant castles, hidden temples and savage battlefields, the adventure that began with Emperor of the Eight Islands draws to its thrilling conclusion.The rightful emperor is lost. Shikanoko is condemned to live, half-man and half-deer, an outlaw in the Darkwood. Yet the mighty lords who now rule the Eight Islands are prey to suspicion and illness, and drought and famine choke the realm. Only Shikanoko can bring healing, by restoring the preordained ruler to the Lotus Throne. And only one person can bring him back from the Darkwood . . .