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?
Source: Publisher website panmacmillan.com (Sighted: 12/01/10)
'The pseudonymous Hearn's second thrilling installment of her Tales of the Otori trilogy (after 2002's Across the Nightingale Floor) is once again set in a magic-haunted version of medieval Japan where no one wields unchallenged authority and no one is safe. The swirl of treacherous, shifting clan alliances threatens to overwhelm young lovers and aristocrats Takeo and Kaede. Separated throughout most of the action, the two must develop their talents while trying to maintain their integrity. Takeo possesses superhuman gifts such as the ability to become invisible, project a double image of himself and hear distant conversations; however, he must discipline his skills and control his impetuous temper. He also must work out his relationship with the Tribe, a treacherous secret organization of spies and assassins that saved his life but that may have murdered his father. Kaede, meanwhile, has to escape the powerless role of a woman if she is to protect herself and her family domain from predatory neighbors'.
Source: bookseller's website.