Monday, April 22, 2013
"Dream of a Spring Night", by I.J. Parker
Ms. Parker creativity has sparked once more and has provided us with another exciting and very captivating historical fiction. This time a trilogy that tells the stories of human beings caught in the terrifying events that shook a nation. The first installment brings us to the closing year of the twelfth century Japan with Go-Shirakawa as its emperor. At the time there is growing unrest between factions forcing a minor vassal, Oba no Hiramato to sell his fourteen year old daughter Toshiko to the emperor in exchange for fervors. Toshiko submits to the will of her father but little did she know she will soon fall into the treacherous world of concubines vying for Do-Shirakawa’s attention.
At the same time, Yamara Sadahira works as a physician among the poor and is occasionally called to the palace to treat the imperial cooks. One day, he takes a wrong turn and ends up in the forbidden women’s quarters where he meets Toshiko and falls deeply in love with her…..and debuts a passionate tale of love……
Ms. Parker’s prose is rich and elegant. She excels in portraying emotional depth in her characterization and her tale vividly comes alive with passion and with tradition. Even if the action may seem to slow down at times there are surprising turns of events to captivate us while this wonderful adventure unfolds. Like any good trilogy we are left hanging and wanting for more, this one is no exception. I enjoy this new tale and looking forward to the second volume.