Abducted by his teacher, Kenji, Takeo is condemned to work as an assassin, an enforced occupation that his father sacrificed his life to escape. Still he is determined to carry on the name of the Otori. At the same time, his beloved Shirakawa Kaede, heir to the Maruyama, returns home to a shattered family and an uncertain future, and quickly realizes that she can rely on no one but herself.
'The beauty, savagery and strangeness of Hearn's gripping tale is heightened by her exquisite, crystalline prose. The second instalment in the Tales of the Otori is, astonishingly, even better than Across the Nightingale Floor' - Amanda Craig, Independent on Sunday