An ambitious warlord leaves his nephew for dead and seizes his lands. A stubborn father forces his younger son to surrender his wife to his older brother. A mysterious woman seeks five fathers for her children. A powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne. These are the threads of an intricate tapestry in which the laws of destiny play out against a backdrop of wild forest, elegant court, and savage battlefield. Set in a mythical medieval Japan inhabited by warriors and assassins, ghosts and guardian spirits, Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn is a brilliantly imagined novel, full of drama and intrigue - the beginning of an enthralling, epic adventure: The Tale of Shikanoko.