Top positive review
Reviewed in Australia on 29 May 2016
This story is a rich tapestry of magic, superstition, and ancient history, all wonderfully realized. This is the first book in this series of four.
A future Emperor is dispossessed of his birthright by a scheming uncle and so destiny weaves its rich tapestry. A compelling drama plays out against a background of wild forests, elegant castles, hidden temples, and savage battlefields. We are presented with many "threads" to follow as the story weaves over and across each other to tease us with a glimpse of what the finished product could resemble. Glimpses of the lives of about a dozen major characters and the ways in which their fortunes rise and fall because of how their social roles, family ties, and personal allegiances cast them on one side or the other of the conflict. It is in all honesty a strange book, evoking a feast for the imagination, and a difficult one to get into, but ultimately compelling. Halfway through; I was genuinely curious to see where the author was going; and by the time I was done, I had already decided I was interested enough in the characters to pick up the next volume. Nothing is really resolved in this book, which is fair enough, since the other three are all coming out this year, anyway. Shikanoko was to me, the least interesting character of the bunch.