The first instalment in a magnificent epic by the creator of the global phenomenon the Tales of the Otori, Lian Hearn, whose books have sold over four million copies worldwide
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 - the beginning of an enthralling, epic adventure: The Tale of Shikanoko.
'Brutally thrilling historical fantasy' Herald Sun
'Wildly successful... Convince[s] as if being read in translation, as if Hearn is merely the medium for some lost and ancient text. Much like Game of Thrones, the book can be read as political intrigue, with great strength deriving from the character studies. Nobody is black or white, rather shades of grey' The Age
'Moves onwards with the narrative force of a flood. It is easy to let the book sweep the reader away, to engage with strange events... very compelling characters [and] huge imaginative vitality' Sydney Morning Herald
'The action comes thick and fast . . . Compelling characters and captivating worldbuilding' Japan Times
'A must-read' Aurealis
'One of the great joys of genre novels is that they usually care deeply about plot, satisfying the innately human desire for story. And there is story aplenty here. The unfolding events are so fascinating, the writing so lithe and seductive. There's no need to have read Hearn's earlier Otori series, set in the same remarkable fantasy world, to enjoy this one. Indeed, her new epic seems sure to recruit a fresh legion of fans' The Saturday Paper
'Stands alone for fine storytelling' West Australian
'Colourful and fascinating characters' Courier Mail
LORD OF THE DARKWOOD: Books 3 and 4 in THE TALE OF SHIKANOKO.
Don't miss any of the novels in the OTORI saga
ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR
GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW
BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON
THE HARSH CRY OF THE HERON
HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE
The action comes thick and fast . . . Compelling characters and captivating worldbuilding - Japan Times
One of the most thrilling series of our time. - The Times on TALES OF THE OTORI
A classic in the making. - Sydney Morning Herald on GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW
The best story of magic, love, sex, revenge and suspense since Philip Pullman. - Independent On Sunday on TALES OF THE OTORI
An engrossing fantasy saga of literary quality. - The Age on TALES OF THE OTORI
Brutally thrilling historical fantasy - Herald Sun
Wildly successful... Convince[s] as if being read in translation, as if Hearn is merely the medium for some lost and ancient text. Much like Game of Thrones, the book can be read as political intrigue, with great strength deriving from the character studies. Nobody is black or white, rather shades of grey - The Age
Moves onwards with the narrative force of a flood. It is easy to let the book sweep the reader away, to engage with strange events... very compelling characters [and] huge imaginative vitality - Sydney Morning Herald
Lian Hearn's beloved Tales of the Otori series, set in an imagined feudal Japan, has sold more than four million copies worldwide and has been translated into nearly forty languages. It is comprised of five volumes: ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR, GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW, BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON, THE HARSH CRY OF THE HERON and HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE. The series was followed by two standalone novels, BLOSSOMS AND SHADOWS and THE STORYTELLER AND HIS THREE DAUGHTERS, also set in Japan. EMPEROR OF THE EIGHT ISLANDS is Books 1 and 2 in The Tale of Shikanoko and is followed by LORD OF THE DARKWOOD (Books 3 and 4). Lian has made many trips to Japan and has studied Japanese. She read Modern Languages at Oxford and worked as an editor and film critic in England before emigrating to Australia. For the latest news from Lian, visit lianhearn.com, follow Lian on Twitter @LianHearn, or join the readers who have become Lian's friend on Facebook.