Very nice book. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Colleague recommended it to me. “Lian Hearn,” he said. A very unique name. So the name stuck and I was able to remember the author when I was browsing the shelves.
cover
NLB Call No.: HEA
ISBN: 0330412981

The novel is loosely based on culture and myths of Feudal Japan, where Samurai warlords ruled fiefs and plotted against other warlords. The ninjas (called The Tribe in the novel) act as the spys and assassins. These warriors of The Tribe possess mystical powers, like the ability to create illusion of appearing in two places at once, and super-hearing.

Main characters: Takeo (the orphaned boy who was discovered to have special Tribal abilities), Lord Otori Shigeru, Lady Kaede.

WARNING – PLOT SPOILER!

The plot in brief (as I remember it, so this is highly subjective):
Lord Otori Shigeru saves Takeo from certain death from an enemy warlord. Adopts Takeo. Schools Takeo in martial and fine arts. Discovers that Takeo has special abilities like super-hearing. In comes Kaede, a hostage who later became embroiled in the power struggle. She meets Takeo. They have the hots for each other, much to the consternation of others (some political complications, which you’ll have to read for yourself). Takeo trains as one of The Tribe and has a personal mission to assassinate an evil warlord. Lord Otori Shigeru is captured and killed before they manage to assassinate the evil warlord. Takeo manages to carry out his revenge but with unexpected help from Kaede. Takeo reluctantly makes a bargain with The Tribe to follow them and renounce his title to the Otori clan.

I recommend this book to those who like heroic warrior-adventure stories, especially if based on Japanese culture and myths.

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