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31 May 2013

Brilliance of the Moon (Tales of the Otori #3)

Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn is the third book in her Tales of the Otori series about a fictional feudal Japan. Originally the series was a trilogy, but later she added two more books.

Otori Takeo is of three domains - he was born into a community of the Hidden, a religion forbidden in the Three Countries. He has the blood of the Tribe - a line whose members have extraordinary powers and are strictly controlled by the will of the family. And he was adopted by Ortori Shigeru, a Lord and rightful heir to a powerful family in the North. But Takeo must make his own way. He will go against many engrained customs to get there.

Shirakawa Kaede was born into a world where women have little power. But she is heir to the Maruyama domain - one of the few whose land follows the female line. She has already been used as a pawn in political relations between families and tribes. Now she plans to make her own way.

Takeo and Kaede will marry - regardless of custom or family obligations - for love. But in a time of turmoil when Lord Arai plans to take over all of the Three Countries through war, hostage or alliance, love will not be seen as reason enough to go against the grain.

Hearn has created a great series. It reads as if it is translated from ancient Japanese lore. Luckily for fans, following the trilogy there are two additional books - one 16 years later and one that takes place before the time of the trilogy. Read them all!

Hearn, Lian. (2004) Brilliance of the Moon. New York: Riverhead Books.

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