Lady Knight's Reviews > Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858

Kazunomiya by Kathryn Lasky
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's review
Jun 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, historical-fiction, royalty, 19th-c, public-library, asia-india-middle-east
Read in January, 2009

This was a great book! Definately a front runner for my favorite "Royal Diaries" book. Kathryn Lasky covered all of the bases here: Romance, Friendship, Court Intrigue, Political Manoevering, and so so much more! I was very impressed with the level of complexity presented in this novel, especially since it is so short. Bravo!

Kazunomiya was born in the year of the Fire Horse, a very unlucky event for a girl. So her birthdate was changed to one year earlier to make her birthdate fall in a year that would ensure her docility.

They may have changed her birthday, but they can't change her.

Kazunomiya is the daughter of the former emperor and his chief concubine. As such it puts her in the firing line to be a political pawn. At the age of four she was betrothed to another Prince, but years later, her betrothel is revoked and she is betrothed to the next Shogun of Japan. While she likes Yoshi, she longs for her soulmate Prince. That is not to be though, since tying the Imperial house and that of the Shogun would give the Emperor more power, and he could then expel the "barbian" Americans who demand he sign treaties. The Americans are calling for the opening up of Japan, while the country resists and tries to keep the past alive. Amid such machinations, court intrigues are rife. Blatant liasons and spying are "de rigeur" and Kazunomiya must learn to keep her head above the waters.
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