"Twelfth-century Japan, the dawn of the Shogun era. Two mighty warrior clans, the Minamoto and the Taira, struggle for power of the figurehead Cloistered Emperor. At the moment, the Taira are in uneasy control, but the three Minamoto sons, separated and exiled at birth, are secretly reuniting to conquer the Taira and avenge their father's bloody death.
Although the eldest is the leader, it is the youngest, Yoshitsuné, whom the warlike monks who sheltered him and trained him in the martial arts deem worthy of possessing the family heirloom, the sword of Hachiman - the sword of the War God.
With striking colour and authenticity, Lynn Guest unfolds the story of one of the most romantic and celebrated heroes in Japanese history and legend. Yoshitsuné is initiated into espionage and love in the bedchamber of a young Taira noblewoman. Soon tested in the ferocious hand-to-hand combat that is his birthright, he wins his first and most faithful retainer, the fierce, hard-drinking monk, Benkei. We follow Yoshitsuné behind the scenes of the rarefied Cloister Court, where the delicate, sarcastic emperor desperately manipulates the lords who hold him prisoner - but who nevertheless must have his blessing to act.
Before Versailles transports you to a world of secret passions and plots, a world of duplicity and malice...a world that created one of the best–known monarchs to grace the French throne.
At the most decisive time in the young king's life, Louis XIV can taste the danger. His court teems with greed and corruption, the wrong woman draws him into a wrenching love affair, and a mysterious boy in an iron mask haunts the woods. The untried ruler is coming into his own in 1661, and Louis XIV must face what he is willing to sacrifice for honor and for love.
Meticulously researched and gorgeously brought to life by New York Times bestselling author Karleen Koen, Before Versailles offers up a sumptuous, authentic exploration of a time that forged a man into a king.
Praise for Before Versailles:
"In this magnificently written and researched novel, Karleen Koen brings to vibrant life the early years and loves of the future Sun King."—Jean M. Auel, author of The Clan of the Cave Bear and the Land of Painted Caves
"A baroque cornucopia spilling over with intrigue, passion, jealousy, ambition, and rich historical detail, Before Versailles offers a glittering glimpse of the crucial months that shaped Louis XIV into Europe's most powerful monarch."—Eleanor Herman, author of Sex with Kings
Hana is just seventeen when her husband goes to war, leaving her alone and vulnerable. When enemy soldiers attack her house she flees across the shattered city of Tokyo and takes refuge in the Yoshiwara, its famous pleasure-quarters.There she is forced to become a courtesan.
Yozo, brave, loyal and a brilliant swordsman, is pledged to the embattled shogun. He sails to the frozen north to join his rebel comrades for a desperate last stand. Defeated, he makes his way south to the only place where a man is beyond the reach of the law - the Yoshiwara.
There in the Nightless City where three thousand courtesans mingle with geishas and jesters, the battered fugitive meets the beautiful courtesan. But each has a secret so terrible that once revealed it will threaten their very lives ...
Drawing on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin—creator and writer of the new PBS Masterpiece drama Victoria and author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter—brings the young nineteenth-century monarch, who would go on to reign for 63 years, richly to life in this magnificent novel.
Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world.
Despite her age, however, the young queen is no puppet. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.
“I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.”
Next, people say she must choose a husband. Everyone keeps telling her she’s destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.
On June 19th, 1837, she was a teenager. On June 20th, 1837, she was a queen. Daisy Goodwin’s impeccably researched and vividly imagined new book brings readers Queen Victoria as they have never seen her before.
Powerful and engrossing, capturing both the rich pageantry and stark realities of life in feudal Japan, Shōgun is a critically acclaimed powerhouse of a book. Heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat action melds seamlessly with intricate historical detail and raw human emotion. Endlessly compelling, this sweeping saga captivated the world to become not only one of the best-selling novels of all time but also one of the highest-rated television miniseries, as well as inspiring a nationwide surge of interest in the culture of Japan. Shakespearean in both scope and depth, Shōgun is, as the New York Times put it, “...not only something you read—you live it.” Provocative, absorbing, and endlessly fascinating, there is only one: Shōgun.