Released on 16 June 2016.

#1 in series
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Emperor of the Eight Islands

3.62 based on 1507 ratings & 253 reviews on


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 – and it is just the beginning of an enthralling, epic adventure: The Tale of Shikanoko.

In the media

Wonderfully evocative . . . intriguing.
Queensland Times
A fitting follow-up to the Otori series
The Age
A must-read