Emperor of the Eight Islands

Emperor of the Eight Islands

Emperor of the Eight Islands

Like George R. R. Martin, Lian Hearn has captivated millions of readers worldwide with her masterpiece of imagination, Tales Of The Otori. Now, against a dazzling canvas of wild forest, elegant court and savage battlefield, she brilliantly brings to life the world that existed 300 years earlier.

Hearn weaves an intricate tapestry - seething with intrigue, adventure and love - of two rival clans struggling over who will be crowned Emperor of the Eight Islands, in a medieval Japanese country inhabited by warriors, assassins, ghosts and guardian spirits. And as the laws of destiny play out their inexorable drama, so the battle for the Lotus Throne begins.

Lian Hearn beloved Tales of the Otori series, set in an imagined feudal Japan, has sold more than four million copies worldwide and has been translated into nearly forty languages. It is comprised of five volumes: ACROss The Nightingale Floor, Grass For His Pillow, Brilliance Of The Moon, The Harsh Cry Of The Heron and Heaven's Net Is Wide. The series was followed by two standalone novels, Blossoms And Shadows and The Storyteller And His Three Daughters, also set in Japan. Emperor Of The Eight Islands is Books 1 and 2 in The Tale of Shikanoko and is followed by Lord Of The Darkwood (Books 3 and 4). Lian has made many trips to Japan and has studied Japanese. She read Modern Languages at Oxford and worked as an editor and film critic in England before emigrating to Australia.


Emperor of the Eight Islands
Hachette
Author: Lian Hearn
ISBN: 9780733635137
RRP: $29.99


Interview with Lian Hearn

Question: How did you come up with the idea to write Emperor of the Eight Islands?

Lian Hearn: Five years ago I was visiting friends in Iwate prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan and we went to watch young men performing the shishi odori, the deer dance. At that moment the germ of a novel came into my mind, coinciding with suggestions from fans that I look at the life of the legendary hero Otori Takeyoshi, briefly mentioned in Heaven's Net is Wide. The books are set about 300 years before the Otori series.


Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?

Lian Hearn: I've always been fascinated by human emotions and interactions, so I draw on my deep knowledge of them, as well as on the real landscapes, history and culture of Japan. My world is a fantasy one, but the challenge is to make it seem real by grounding it in all these things. Emperor of the Eight Islands is strongly influenced by the great warrior tales of medieval Japan like Tales of the Heike and Tale of the Soga Brothers.


Question: What is the best thing about creating your characters?

Lian Hearn: Creating characters is one of the mysteries of writing. They seem to spring into my head, fully formed as I begin writing about them. Then they become real enough for readers to love or loathe them. I like ambiguous characters – I don't really write about the struggle between good and evil but more about flawed individuals striving for power and to find their place in the world.


Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?

Lian Hearn: Be original and write (or create) what only you and no one else can. Be prepared to make time for your writing, even if it means getting up at 4.00am. Nothing is going to be achieved easily. Have courage.


Question: The best thing about books is . . .

Lian Hearn: The best thing about books? They are a gateway into the mind of another – the only ESP available to us at the moment.

Emperor of the Eight Islands
Hachette
Author: Lian Hearn
ISBN: 9780733635137
RRP: $29.99


Interview by Brooke Hunter




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