A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, one of Book magazine's best novels of the year, and one of School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for High School Readers (2002), Across the Nightingale Floor was an international bestseller and critical success, named "the most compelling novel to have been published this year" by the Times (London).
In this second tale, we return to the land of harsh beauty and deceptive appearances where we first met Takeo--the young orphan taken up by the Otori Lord and now a closely held member of the Tribe--and his beloved Shirakawa Kaede, heir to the Maruyama and alone in the world, who must find a way to unify the domain she has inherited.
In a complex social hierarchy, amid dissembling clans and fractured allegiances, there is no place for passionate young love. Yet Takeo and Kaede, drawing on their unusual talents and hidden strengths, must make their way in this tale of longing, ambition, and intrigue. Grass for His Pillow is a tantalizing next installment in a brilliantly imaginative and critically acclaimed series.
Shirakawa Kaede lay deeply asleep in the state close to unconsciousness that the Kikuta can deliver with their gaze. The night passed, the stars paled as dawn came, the sounds of the temple rose and fell around her, but she did not stir. She did not hear her companion, Shizuka, call anxiously to her from time to time, trying to wake her. She did not feel Shizuka's hand on her forehead. She did not hear Lord Arai Daiichi's men as they came with increasing impatience to the veranda, telling Shizuka that the warlord was waiting to speak to Lady Shirakawa. Her breathing was peaceful and calm, her features as still as a mask's.
Toward evening the quality of her sleep seemed to change. Her eyelids flickered and her lips appeared to smile. Her fingers, which had been curled gently against her palms, spread.
Be patient. He will come for you.
Kaede was dreaming that she had been turned to ice. The words echoed lucidly in her head. There was no fear in the dream, just the...
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