Heaven's Net Is Wide (Tales of the Otori #0) (2007)

Heaven's Net Is Wide (Tales of the Otori #0) (2007)

by Lian Hearn

This is a prequel to The Tales of the Otori, telling the early life of Lord Shigeru, one of my favorite characters of that series. 

It follows him during the years that he endures the defeat of his family at the hands of the Tohan clan and assumes the persona of a peaceful and defeated farmer while plotting his revenge, ending with the events that open the original series.  

Lian Hearn writes well and her portrait of a fantasy alternate Japan remains a fascinating setting. 

Gillian Rubenstein AKA Lian Hearn

There can be a mechanical aspect to a prequel because it must hit certain plot points in order to set up the previously written stories, introducing the danger that characterization will be subordinated to plot. 

However, Hearn acquits herself well and the characters’ choices always seem well-rooted in psychology and internal motivation. 

This book also avoids the unfortunate penchant for deus ex machina that she so often indulges in the other books.


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