mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Grasscutter for His Pillow. (21)

Grass for His Pillow: Lord Fukiwara's Treasures by Lian Hearn.

This green jade idol,
two dragons, a broken 8.
Wrapped in faded silk.

Further Tales of the Otori, continuing to hold up strong. The first two volumes make up the first "book," & they don't have a satisfying conclusion, in that sort of bittersweet fashion some stories have. You know, The Doctor & Rose are separated forever, or Romeo & Juliet die, or Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! If I had any complaints about Across the Nightingale Floor it was that it focused on Takeo's story, while Kaede is the more interesting, to me. Takeo is the male lead, & he's just got too much stuff going on; the convoluted secrets of his parents, the secret "Jewish" upbringing with the Hidden, heir to the Otori clan by adoption, debt to the Tribe "ninjas"...it works, because his role is to be enmeshed in a web of responsibilities & duties, tugged in every which direction, but Kaede is more subtle & thus more nuanced. The story of her beauty reminds me of Fire, in that it is as much a curse as anything; her part of the story is a meditation on the danger of being a woman in difficult times-- which, while I'm thinking of parallels, has a lot in common with some of George R. R. Martin's writing. Lian Hearn-- Gillian Rubinstein-- is however a woman, which necessarily informs her gender portrayals in vastly different ways from the characters in A Song of Ice & Fire, & for the better. Grass for His Pillow involves Kaede coming into her own, starting to consolidate her own power base, & yeah! I'm definitely into that.
Tags: books, haiku, hearn, tales of the otori
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