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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Emperor of the Eight Islands

Emperor of the Eight Islands

Book 1 in the Tale of Shikanoko

The Tale of Shikanoko series (Volume 1)

Lian Hearn

FSG Originals


In the opening pages of the action-packed Book One of Lian Hearn's epic Tale of Shikanoko series--all of which will be published in 2016--a future lord is dispossessed of his birthright by a scheming uncle, a mountain sorcerer imbues a mask with the spirit of a great stag for a lost young man, a stubborn father forces his son to give up his wife to his older brother, and a powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne, the child who is the rightful heir to the emperor barely escaping the capital in the arms of his sister. And that is just the beginning.

As destiny weaves its rich tapestry, a compelling drama plays out against a background of wild forests, elegant castles, hidden temples, and savage battlefields. This is the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn's imagination, where animal spirits clash with warriors and children navigate a landscape as serene as it is deadly.

The Tale of Shikanoko, Book One: Emperor of the Eight Islands (April 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Two: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (June 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Three: Lord of the Darkwood (August 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Four: The Tengu's Game of Go (September 2016)



“Did you see what happened?”

“Where is your father?” Two men were standing above him, their shapes dark against the evening sky. One was his uncle, Sademasa, the other Nobuto, whom he didn’t like.


Praise for Emperor of the Eight Islands

“Hearn begins her new series, The Tale of Shikanoko, by introducing the primary characters while setting up conflicts and relationships that will evolve in the three volumes to follow, all to be published this year. . . . The fluid prose and morally ambiguous characters [in Emperor of the Eight Islands] are magically seductive.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Tales of the Otori

“We find ourselves again transported to a medieval Japan of the imagination: a harsh land ruled by local warlords, an essentially static social order in which family ties bind tightly, a culture that mixes great refinement with unspeakable brutality . . . Deliciously readable.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Part Shogun, part Lord of the Rings, and entirely enchanting.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Powered by fairy-tale magic and action-packed plot . . . Good old-fashioned storytelling at its best.” —The Daily Yomiuri (Japan)

“Gorgeously violent, complex and well-written.” —The Times (London)


Reviews from Goodreads

Lian Hearn

Lian Hearn is the pseudonym of a writer-born in England, educated at Oxford, currently living in Australia--who has a life-long interest in Japan, has lived there, and studies Japanese. She is the author of the best-selling series Tales of the Otori.