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Autumn Princess, Dragon Child

(The Tale of Shikanoko #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,104 ratings  ·  109 reviews
A self-assured warrior stumbles into a game of Go that turns fatal. An ambitious lord leaves his nephew for dead and seizes his lands. A stubborn father forces his son to give up his wife to his older brother. A powerful priest meddles in the succession to the Lotus Throne. A woman of the Old People seeks five fathers for her five children, who will go on to found the Spid ...more
Paperback, 269 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by FSG Originals
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  1,104 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016

Reading book two of the Tale of Shikanoko I feel the need for a correction of my earlier praise for the publisher's decision to issue all four books in the series at short interval: this is not a four volume epic, but actually a long stand-alone that was split into four slimmer books in order to make more money. The comment has nothing to do with the quality of the story, which remains for me just as captivating, intricate and fast paced as in the first episode. The warning also serves as a re
Althea Ann
DNF at 24%, no rating.

I really want to like this story more than I do. I read the first one, and convinced myself that I would get more into it if I just gave the second one a chance... but it's not happening. I had it sitting around a few months and just wasn't compelled to start it - and now I'm not feeling compelled to finish it.

The events here follow directly upon those of 'Emperor of the Eight Islands' - I read that this 'Tale of Shikanoko' was actually written as one story and divided int
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
In my review of the first book of this series I falsely assumed it was in some nature a young adult novel. Now I am starting to question why I thought such a thing, the themes are complex and plot lines are brilliantly interwoven. The fast moving pace of the story is one reason I thought it might be catered to a younger audience, but expedient travels do not in themselves make a book suitable for the young, and while there are indeed downfalls to a book with such pacing the benefit is that it is ...more
Megan Lyons
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars

This volume was definitely an improvement over the first volume, "Emperor of the Eight Islands." Because I had already become familiar with the characters and the setting, I was better able to be immersed in the story this time around. Some of the characters were redeemed in this book, making them a little more likable. The Japanese setting and mythology was also refreshing. I do think that the division of this story into multiple volumes hurt the flow of the story. However, this is d
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm starting to think that I would have preferred to read this as one 1000 page epic than as four shorter novels. I should have waited for the omnibus edition. ...more
“He sleeps beneath the lake,
The dragon child,
But he will wake
And spread his wings again,
When the deer’s child comes.”

Sounds so peaceful, right? Pastoral, almost.

But the Tale of Shikanoko is a bloody game of thrones inspired by medieval Japan and told in riveting, heartbreaking fashion.

About : If you haven’t read book I or at least my review of book I, my recap of the plot won’t make much sense because there’s sooo much going in this series. Lian Hearn’s spare style allows for constant actio
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Really enjoying the political machinations, the ebb and flow of relationships, changing fortunes, and the intersection and convergence of the natural and spiritual world.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it liked it
This second installment of Lian Hearn's Tale of Shikanoko picks up where the first one ended. Where the writing still seemed to keep me at arm's length, it was to a lesser degree than the first book. Possibly because there was more dialogue and interaction.

Those who enjoyed the first book would enjoy this one. The political plots continue to twist, and the interpersonal plots are still flailing around and I'm not sure how they will connect back together in the end.

One thing about this book tha
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the second book in a four volume fantasy epic, and I think I made a big mistake by not reading the first one. I found this on the ‘new books’ shelf and went “Hmmm.. fantasy set in feudal Japan.. I’ll take that!” But the author jumps right into the story with no bringing us up to speed, which left me utterly baffled, even with the cast of characters in the front of the book. Who were these people and why were they doing these things to each other? Because of this, I never managed to care ...more
Jul 19, 2016 added it
I definitely forgot most of what happened in the first volume, even though it came out in April. The first 50 pages I spent mostly flipping to the front character list to try and remember who everyone was. That said, I like the style and it's an interesting plot that does have the feel of a legend or an ancient story. I might consider waiting until both of the last two are out and reading them back to back so I can avoid the confusion I had this time around. ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Another good experience listening to a book and I liked how the characters take their natural course of development and how they struggle in a world that is so cruel. I found myself so many times reflecting on the violence of everything that is alive.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
‘Shikanoko, unable to sleep, racked by pain and fever, walked day and night through the Darkwood.’

‘Autumn Princess, Dragon Child’ is the second of four novels in Lian Hearn’s ‘The Tale of Shikanoko’ series. If you have not already read the first novel (‘Emperor of the Eight Islands’), stop now. ‘Emperor of the Eight Islands’ sets the scene for the entire series, and understanding the scene (or scenes) is critical.

If you are still reading, I’ll assume that you’ve read ‘Emperor of the Eight Island
Josh Mlot
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Autumn Princess, Dragon Child" is the second book in the four-book story "Tale of the Shikanoko" by Lian Hearn.

It seems many readers didn't enjoy this one as much as the first, but I didn't have that same experience. All of these books fit into a larger hole and have to be read as such — they don't work well as stand-alones because they read like the puzzle pieces they are.

The pace picks up in "Autumn Princess," at times so much that things feel a little clipped. Normally this would bother me a
Rina ~abbyalliterally~
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hicks
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Don't even think of reading this unless you have read #1.

I suspect I'd have given this a 4 if I'd been able to read it all in one go.

This one dragged a bit in places but picked up nicely. And, lookit, we know the horses are important, OK, so can we not mention them every three pages?

The five "children" are deliciously creepy, and are obviously going to cause a lot of the kind of chaos you just can't wait to read about. And I like that Shikanoko is clearly growing in power a LOT faster than h
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stopped-reading
I had some hopes for this book, as the ending of the first one was dramatic and the speed really picked up, leaving me curious as to what would happen next. But I’m on page 105 (out of 267) and honestly I think I’ll stop there. I’ve read enough-I’m intrigued by Yoshi and the monkeys, but Takaakira is a creepy pedophile (who says himself that he’s grooming Hina, just like the Tale of Genji) who I can’t stand, I still can’t keep the majority of the characters straight let alone their alliances and ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-5-stars, 2018
Wow. I can’t believe how much i’m loving this series. The writing really draws me in with it’s simplicity, but also in the way it paints such clear images in my mind. The setting is fascinating and the magic is incredibly interesting and slightly murky which serves the story very well.

The cast of characters, who are all fantastic, is pretty large, but it wasn't too difficult to keep track of everything that was going on, even as the narrator head hops from chapter to chapter. As long as you brin
Emma Wallace
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This was a solid story as ever and really pushed the story onwards. I am glad that Shika and Aki were largely apart during this story as their interaction would have unnerved me post Shika’s assault, especially since Hearn seems to set it up as the “love at first sight” relationship within the series. I like the fact that the supernatural is more prominent than in the original series and I am more engaged with this dynastic conflict (not least because I can understand it better now that I am old ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Autumn Princess, Dragon Child was a great follow-up to Emperor of the Eight Islands, picking up right after the end of the first book and exploring the consequences of its events before taking the next steps for this series’ story. There are definitely parts of the first half that were a bit slow, but looking back now, it was all necessary to effectively explore the ramifications of the characters’ choices in the first book before the story could truly move on. It paid off, as the resolutions in ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like the characters even better in this book, as they have matured. The story winds around and you get a different character's viewpoint in each chapter. There is a bit of magic lurking in the background throughout the story, and it comes to a head at the end. This is not a fairy-tale story with everything turning out happy at the end. It is closer to being a tragedy with a definitely Japanese flavor. ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This second book focus on Aki and she'll go through so much, I just want to keep her in my arm but she has a strong will and need to do what she has to do.
This is all I remember of the book tbh. oh wait no, there's a certain character who really should be head-cut, like really.

Anyway, once you start to read, you just want to keep going. You going to bark a lot at certain characters and wish it'll work out for others. But a wish is just a wish...
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well. This is a book. That I read. At least it didn't let go of the rape at the end of the first book. I don't think I like this book or this series but I am probably going to finish the last two books anyway. I would not recommend this book or this series to anyone unless they want to be mad. I feel like this series is going to be one that I rant to my friends about until I forget that I ever read it. ...more
Pat Gaudreault
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This Book 2 makes the many character introductions and at-times difficult-to-follow lineage very worth understanding.

Politics, power, twisting and intertwining character storylines and allegiance switching. These are all themes that are further explored in this second novel in the same fast paced fashion as the first. I found it all much easier to follow in this one though, after putting the effort in to learn it all in the first book.

Siona St Mark
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I'm really loving this series! This one had a lot of twists and turns, and deaths that I didn't expect. I can see why this has been called a Japanese-version of Game of Thrones (though for clairity, the author is a white woman who has studied and lived in Japan). I really like Shilanoko as a character, and can't wait to see where the rest of the story takes him. ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It was even better than the first and I was absolutely sucked into the story. I didn't want it to end...

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I didn't predict so many things that happened in the series and it was all the more enjoyable. I look forward to what happens in the third book.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read the second one without realising it, as I had picked up a compendium of the first 2 books. I really enjoyed the second part, it was more complex and dramatic then the first part and truth be told I couldn't put the compendium down, the two flowed through one another so easily. So enjoyable, on to book 3 now! ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Further adventures of Shikanoko. After losing the Autumn Princess and the child Emperor, he makes his way back to the sorceror's cottage and continues his education. He begins to restore his inheritance. The conflict with the Prince Abbot continues.
Better, but still not as interesting as Across the Nightingale Floor.
Elizabeth Bennet
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one, so much so that I have started to read the third book right away.

It is necessary to read the first novel before but I liked this one much better.

The writer obviously loves old Japanese tales and in this case merging the storytelling styles of Occident and Orient worked really well.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No!!!!! Akihime!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That pretty much sums this book up. It was absolutely spellbinding. This is an amazing story and I hope you pick it up. The character development between the first and second books is astounding.
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Lian Hearn's beloved Tales of the Otori series, set in an imagined feudal Japan, has sold more than four million copies worldwide and has been translated into nearly forty languages. It is comprised of five volumes: ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR, GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW, BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON, THE HARSH CRY OF THE HERON and HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE. The series was followed by two standalone novels, BLOSS ...more

Other books in the series

The Tale of Shikanoko (4 books)
  • Emperor of the Eight Islands (Tale of Shikanoko, #1)
  • Lord of the Darkwood (Tale of Shikanoko, #3)
  • The Tengu's Game of Go (Tale of the Shikanoko, #4)

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“I really loved Kiyoyori-in the way you people love each other, and we, not so much. I had never felt that before. I should be able to pass away without regret, as easily as the leaf falls from the tree in autumn, but the idea of never seeing him again, in whatever form, fills me with sorrow. I cling to life for his sake. This is what love does to you Shikanoko. See how the false wolf grows more real every day, because it has become attached to you. It shivers at your approach and wags its tail at the sound of your voice. It has made you its master, it lives for your affection. But, as your saints teach and we have always known, attachment enslaves you. Only those free from it see the world as it really is and have power over themselves and all things.” 0 likes
“But, as your saints teach and we have always known, attachment enslaves you. Only those free from it see the world as it really is and have power over themselves and all things.” 0 likes
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