Emily Gibson has come to Japan as a missionary, to start a new life. In America her beauty drove men wild. In Japan she possesses no beauty at all. Matthew Stark speaks like a missionary but wears a pistol like a gunslinger. Emily has come to Japan to bury her past, Stark has come to kill his. It is 1861 and after two centuries of isolation Japan ...
Emily Gibson has come to Japan as a missionary, to start a new life. In America her beauty drove men wild. In Japan she possesses no beauty at all. Matthew Stark speaks like a missionary but wears a pistol like a gunslinger. Emily has come to Japan to bury her past, Stark has come to kill his. It is 1861 and after two centuries of isolation Japan has been forced to open its doors. A whole way of life is about to die. Lord Genji of the Akoaka Clan knows this. Blessed with his family's power of prophecy he has foreseen that his and Japan's fate lie in the hands of outsiders. But this knowledge is dangerous to many powerful men, and deadly for Genji. As intrigue mounts and the city of Edo and the Shogun's palace are smashed by foreign ships, Genji plans his escape to his ancestral home, the Cloud of Sparrows. With him travel Emily and Stark, and Heiko, his beautiful geisha and a deadly spy. However, the road is long and there are many places along the way for a samurai to attack and for Genji to die.
This is a gripping novel that will transport its reader into the world of Japan at a crucial turning point in Japan's history in the 1800's. The book is about Lord Genji, a young lord who comes from a long line of prophets. The country is split on their views- start trade relations with foreigners or continue to expell them from the land. After centuries of closing the country off to outsiders this has set Japan in a state of turmoil. Genji uses his cunning to try and open the country. He has guests from America come and stay with him. From there, the story unfolds...
This book is absolutely gripping. It is nearly impossible to set it down. The words are riviting and draw you into the world of Japan. Do yourself the biggest favor you possibly could do and get this book! You will not regret it!
Publishers Weekly, 2002-08-12 Matsuoka's ambitious first novel is an epic saga of clashing personalities and ideologies in the tradition of Shogun, yet it distinguishes itself from its wide-eyed predecessor with a grimmer perspective on Japan's military culture. Set in Edo in 1861, the book chronicles the arrival of a group of American missionaries (two men and a woman, each hiding secrets) into a land bristling with feudal clans nursing ancient grudges and a central shogunate trying to maintain control in the face of corrosive Western influences (like Christianity). The young Lord Genji, a modern heir to the embittered Okumichi clan and its rulers' gift of prophetic vision, receives the missionaries as his guests. Their visit coincides with an effort by the Shogun's secret-police chief to destroy Genji, which leads to the accidental killing of one of the missionaries. In response, Genji, his mad uncle Shigeru (tortured with visions of "swarms of metallic insects," which presage the devastation of WWII), and Genji's lover, the devastatingly beautiful geisha Heiko, join forces with innocent American missionary Emily Gibson and Matt Stark, also an American, who is hiding under the mission's aegis while he hunts down a man who wronged him long ago, to stave off the imperial assassins and restore the honor of the clan. The novel boasts plenty of Edo-era pomp and pageantry, as well as some nicely convoluted court intrigue and lightly handled romance. But the author's central message appears to be a rebuke of the narrow-mindedness of the isolationist feudal tradition in Japan and its bloody track record: "It is our duty to ensure that all looting, murdering, and enslaving in Japan is done by us alone. Otherwise, how can we call ourselves Great Lords?" (Oct. 8) Forecast: The samurai mystique works its magic again. Foreign rights to this title have already been snapped up in France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and film rights have been purchased by Universal Films. The buzz on high should be matched by sales below or at least that's what the publisher is gambling with a 100,000 first printing. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.