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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Brilliance of the Moon, the third and concluding volume of Lian Hearn's bestselling Tales of the Otori trilogy (Across the Nightingale Floor and Grass for His Pillow), pits the fate-driven lovers Takeo and Kaede against impossible odds as they fight to save their marriage, their lands, and their own lives.
As Takeo plots to avenge the betrayal of his adopted father and take his rightful place as the leader of his clan, a holy woman's prophecy haunts him: "Three bloods are mixed in you. You were born into the Hidden, but your life has been brought into the open and is no longer your own. Earth will deliver what heaven desires. Your lands will stretch from sea to sea. Five battles will buy you peace, four to win and one to lose…"
While Takeo is traveling throughout the Three Countries defeating evil warlords and ruthless bands of outlaws, his wife, Kaede -- legendary for her beauty -- is abducted by a sadistic nobleman who, stating that Kaede's marriage to Takeo is invalid, forces her to wed him. A political prisoner once again, Kaede must rely on her intelligence to survive long enough to see Takeo again.
As bloody as it is beautiful, as poetic as it is profound, feudal Japan in Hearn's portrayal is a realm that readers will not soon forget. The Tales of the Otori saga is like an intriguing fusion of Arthurian legend and Taoist philosophy -- a philosophical battle between obeying rigid cultural mores and striving to live an honorable life. In a word: Brilliant. Paul Goat Allen