I found the first book of this trilogy (Tomeoe Gozen) at a library sale, and was captivated. Everything about it; from the unique character, to the inventive alternative Japan, to the elegant writing style, to the unbelievable amount of sheer STORY packed into the first 66 pages, was remarkable.
Not easy to find the rest of the out-of-print series, but wonderfully rewarding. Very involved storytelling, complex and somehow very Japanese. And I can say that the heroine, Tomoe Gozen, starts out a complete original and is uniquely transformed by her (frequently awful) experiences, right up to the heart-wrenching final scenes of the last book. Be warned, though: happy endings, dreams fullfilled, walking towards a sunset hand-in-hand towards some happily-ever-after future...not prominently featured. Tomoe Gozen is, throughout, a tragic figure
I cannot recommend this highly enough to fans of fantasy, samurai stories, excellent writing, sword fighting, mythic adventure and japanophiles in general.
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