Brilliance of the Moon: Tales of the Otori, Book Three
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Brilliance of the Moon is the third book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn. Don't miss the related series, The Tale of Shikanoko.
A beautiful, haunting evocation of the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn's imagination, this thrilling follow-up to Grass for His Pillow and Across the Nightingale Floor delves deeper into the complex loyalties that bind its characters from birth. Filled with adventure and surprising twists of plot and fortune, this third book in the Tales of the Otori series travels beyond the Three Countries, to the outside influences that threaten to intrude upon this isolated realm.
came reluctantly up out of the river. Once I had enough length on it, I secured it to another, larger tree. It occurred to me that I was probably going to pollute the shrine in some way, but at that moment I did not care what god, spirit, or demon I offended as long as I got my men safely across the river. All the time I was listening. Despite the rain I couldn’t believe this place was as deserted as it seemed; it was at the site of a bridge on what appeared to be a well-used road. Through the
them but was called back by a woman, who then shouted a greeting to them. From the thick grove that surrounded the shrine, owls were hooting, and Shizuka’s sharp ears caught the high squeaking of bats. “Can you still hear them?” her grandmother said, peering at the fleeting shapes. “And I can barely see them! That’s the Kikuta in you.” “My hearing is nothing special,” Shizuka said. “I wish it were.” A stream ran through the grove, and fireflies glowed along the bank. The gates loomed before
had stepped back out of pollution’s way but were still close enough to hear us. “I need to talk to this man,” I said. “Where should we go?” They threw an anguished look at each other and the older man suggested, “Maybe the pavilion, in the garden?” “You don’t need to come with me.” “We should guard Lord Otori,” the younger said. “I’m in no danger from this man. Leave us alone. But tell Manami to bring water, some food, and tea.” They bowed and left. As they crossed the courtyard they
Ryoma: a fisherman, Masahiro’s illegitimate son (3) THE TOHAN (The East; castle town: Inuyama) Iida Sadamu: lord of the clan (1) Iida Nariaki: Sadamu’s cousin (3) Ando, Abe: Iida’s retainers (1) Lord Noguchi: an ally (1) Lady Noguchi: his wife (1) Junko: a servant in Noguchi castle (1) THE SEISHUU (An alliance of several ancient families in the West; main castle towns: Kumamoto and Maruyama) Arai Daiichi: a warlord (1) Niwa Satoru: a retainer (2) Akita Tsutomu: a retainer
huge force of men and horses was imposing on the land. Everything that had already been harvested would be taken, and what had not been harvested would have been ruined by the storm. I hoped these villagers had secret fields and hidden stores; if not, they would starve when winter came. Shuho was famous for its many cold springs, which formed a lake of a brilliant blue color. The water was reputed to have healing qualities and was dedicated to the goddess of good fortune. Perhaps this was what