Grass for His Pillow: Lord Fujiwara’s Treasures

October 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

lordGrass for His Pillow: Lord Fujiwara’s Treasures by Lian Hearn

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Lord Fujiwara’s Treasures begins the second book in the Tales of the Otori, serving as the first act of Grass for His Pillow. If this is confusing, welcome to the club. Grass for His Pillow is the second book, but it’s published in two parts, this one being the first. It’s not even a complete story, since there’s no conclusion here.

The story continues Takeo’s and Keade’s stories, though after meeting and falling in love in the first book, they wind up separated here. Obligations force them apart, and they find themselves as key players in the political machinations in this alternate feudal Japan. Hearn continues to tell a compelling tale through her unassuming narrative, focusing on these two characters and their intensely personal lives. Her style is gentle but insistent; it’s hard to feel like much is happening, but the story winds through several settings and characters in a complicated political plot.

This series is billed as a fantasy, but it reads more like a historical novel than anything else. Fantasy readers might be surprised to find a story atypically fantasy, but readers of historical fiction (especially those with an interest in Japanese culture) should love it. I’m looking forward to seeing this series through.

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