Grass for His Pillow

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9780330427340: Grass for His Pillow

The sequel to "Across the Nightingale Floor" follows the separate fates of young lovers, Otori Takeo and Shirakawa Kaede, as they fight for survival in a violent time of war, famine and treacherous alliances. Takeo has pledged his life to the secret Tribe. His supernatural skills of invisibility and acute hearing make him their most deadly assassin. He must deny the spiritual vows of his upbringing, his birthright of Otori wealth, land and power - and his love for Kaede. If he does not serve the Tribe, they will kill him. In growing from boy to man, Takeo chooses a path of danger and vengeance, and learns of the prophecy that shapes his destiny. Kaede, destined to submit to a political marriage, must use her intelligence, beauty and cunning to assert her place in a world of all-powerful men - who must never know that she is carrying Takeo's child. In the ancient Oriental lands of the Otori, Lian Hearn has created a brilliantly imagined culture that has cast its spell over thousands of readers worldwide. Here is epic storytelling whose appeal crosses genres, genders and generations.

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Review:

Lian Hearn's second novel in the Tales of the Otori, Grass For His Pillow continues to enrich and expand his mystical imaginings of feudal Japan. Picking up where Across the Nightingale Floor left off, Takeo fulfills his debt of honor and accepts his heritage as a member of the superhuman cabal of assassins known as "The Tribe," and is thus ingested into their plots. But his heart yearns for Kaede, his one true love, and secretly wishes to fulfill the final wishes of his adopted father, Otori Shigaru. Meanwhile, Kaede returns to her homeland to find her father's estate in ruin and her inheritance in jeopardy. The two each encounter vast political machinations and deadly consequences as they unconsciously move toward their overwhelming urges to reunite and defy (or perhaps embrace) fate.

Hearn's second book into the Tales of the Otori series is a more poignant tale than the first, painfully examining the lines between honor, duty, and love. With its calming and satisfying conclusion, the landscape of Hearn's mythical vision of Japan braces for a dazzling storm in the book to come. --Jeremy Pugh

About the Author:

Lian Hearn studied modern languages at Oxford University and worked as a film critic and arts editor in London before settling in Australia. A lifelong interest in Japan led to the study of the Japanese language, many trips to Japan and culminated in the writing of the Tales of the Otori trilogy.

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