If you're into feudal Japan and NOT the modern-day japanime bullshit that has so clouded many youth's opinions and prejudices about the Eastern world, I recommend reading this book. The language is beautiful, the exposition is absolutely phenomenal and the story itself will shock and amaze you. Lian Hearn has done what many authors try to do with their historical world-building: makes something that feels real. Hearn not only makes this whole world very believable and gorgeous but she does it with language that feels like a wonderful and never-ending poem. Something that you could go to sleep to but need to stay awake for the conclusion. I don't read many female authors because of the social stigma that many of them present with romantic writing. Hearn absolutely shattered my notion and made a book that is beautiful, heart-felt, and difficult to put down. This book has taught me that at times, it is necessary to write poetically in order to express beauty that one simply cannot do with technical, complex language.