Grass for His Pillow Episode: Lord Fujiwara's Treasures (Tales of the Otori #2, Episode 1)

Grass for His Pillow Episode: Lord Fujiwara's Treasures (Tales of the Otori #2, Episode 1)

by Lian Hearn
     
 

Abducted by his teacher, Kenji, Takeo is condemned to work as an assassin, an enforced occupation that his father sacrificed his life to escape. Still he is determined to carry on the name of the Otori. At the same time, his beloved Shirakawa Kaede, heir to the Maruyama, returns home to a shattered family and an uncertain future, and quickly realizes that she can rely…  See more details below

Overview

Abducted by his teacher, Kenji, Takeo is condemned to work as an assassin, an enforced occupation that his father sacrificed his life to escape. Still he is determined to carry on the name of the Otori. At the same time, his beloved Shirakawa Kaede, heir to the Maruyama, returns home to a shattered family and an uncertain future, and quickly realizes that she can rely on no one but herself.

"The beauty, savagery, and strangeness of Hearn's gripping tale is heightened by the exquisite, crystalline prose." �The Independent on Sunday (U.K.)

Lian Hearn is a pseudonym. Born in England and currently living in Australia, the author attended Oxford University, has studied Japanese, and has a lifelong interest in Japan.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Abdur Rabb Watkins
Part two of an expansive trilogy, this novel continues where its prequel left off. Set in a fictional, feudal Japan, this installment follows the gifted young assassin protagonist, Takeo as he struggles to balance his duties, his honor, and his true desire to be with his love, Kaeda of the Arai Clan. This is especially difficult for Takeo as he was not born into the Otori Clan lineage of which he is now a part. His original name is Tomasu. He received his new name and rank after the Lord of the Otori Clan rescued him during an attack on his village. This change of identity was not a simple one, though. Takeo is actually tied in one way or another to each of the feuding groups in the region. This becomes an important detail as his role in the Otori Clan calls him to take his rightful place as heir after Lord Otori Shigeru dies. Before he takes the title, the Tribe claims him. The Tribe is a secretive assassin group to which he is related by blood, and they have a different plan for his life. They begin his formal training in the ways of the assassin and even provide a mate whom he later impregnates. His life is set, but he is unhappy. So Takeo escapes. The novel continues, full of decisions that Takeo must make. He must decide whether to sacrifice his own dreams and ideals for the sake of his responsibilities. With these multiple burdens, Takeo struggles to discover if he truly is what others proclaim him to be. His true ambitions are put to a test when he arrives at a village in the southern region where he encounters an old woman who tells a vision of his ominous future: "Five battles to fight. Four to win, one to lose." He shall gain many lands but ultimately be killed by his ownson. His true love, Kaeda, is also at odds with herself. She is forbidden to see Takeo but makes up an excuse so that she can leave her troubled Arai estate to find him. When they finally reunite, they must decide whether their love is important enough to sacrifice their duties, responsibilities and the peace in the land. This elaborate text, although fictional, provides a great look into feudal Japanese social structure. The level of detail within the plot as well as the character development make this book a great read. It also allows readers to examine what it means to be an antagonist versus a protagonist and to question true motives since the roles of protagonists and antagonists remain somewhat ambiguous throughout the novel. This is book two in the "Tales of the Otori" series. Reviewer: Abdur Rabb Watkins

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142404232
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/08/2005
Series:
Tales of the Otori Series, #2
Edition description:
Series #2, Episode 1
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
4.26(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

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