Heaven's Net Is Wide2007single work novel fantasy 'Heaven's Net Is Wide is the new beginning to the celebrated Tales of the Otori, the prequel that reveals the full story of Lord Otori Shigeru, the figure who has presided in both life and death over the entire series, the man who represents the true spirit of the Otori Clan. As the story opens, the young Shigeru, heir to the clan, is eager to assert his authority and to face down treachery from within his own family and hostility from the far corners of the Three Countries. His noble education and training as a warrior have prepared him for leadership and combat, but can anything prepare him for the terrible consequences of loss and defeat? As his youthful determination pushes the Otori inexorably toward war with the rival Tohan Clan and their ruthless, scheming warlord, Iida Sadamu, fate appears to have some difficult lessons in store for Shigeru. Shigeru's life is under constant threat, but just as he is surrounded by implacable enemies, he is also supported by loyal allies, such as Lady Murayama, the only woman rule in the Three Countries. And he has friends among the Tribe, the clandestine network of assassins who not only will protect him but also will reveal the existence of a boy in a remote mountain village - a boy who belongs to the secret sect known as the Hidden, a boy who might prove to be vital to the future of the Otori.' (Source: Book jacket)
'Thanks to his enlightened leadership, 15 years of peace and prosperity have passed since Otori Takeo united the Three Countries, but his enemies continue to plot their revenge—including the Tribe, a ninja-like group of assassins, and the duplicitous Lord Zenko, one of Takeo's retainers. Perhaps the greatest threat, however, is the prophecy of a holy woman that Takeo will die only at his son's hand; his only son, an unacknowledged bastard, is being raised by his sworn enemy Kikuta Akio, the head of a Tribe family. With his beautiful (and legitimate) daughter and heir Shigeko by his side, Takeo must navigate these treacherous shoals to save his lands and his legacy from destruction'. (Publisher's blurb)
Peace comes at the price of bloodshed-five battles will buy you peace, four to win and one to lose. At the temple of Terayama, the words of the blind sage's prophecy continue to haunt Takeo as he readies his armies for battle. Determined to avenge Shigeru's death and claim his rightful inheritance, Takeo and Kaede, together with Takeo's forces; fight their way to the domain of Maruyama. But then they must separate. Takeo makes plans for a battle by the sea, and Kaede returns to her family's home at Shirakawa. Will they see each other again?