by I.J. Parker
Toshiko’s and Sadahira’s transgression has dire consequences, for Oba no Hiramoto is furious and seeks revenge. After Toshiko’s mother dies, and Hachiro, who has become a swordfighter, kills Toshiko’s brother in a dues, her father vows to kill all the Yamadas. Sadahira and his young family seek refuge in his father’s stronghold in the south, but there is a price to pay. Sadahira must resume his samurai standing and seek an alliance with Minamoto Yoritomo, overlord of the east and enemy of the Taira.
Forced into military service with Kiso Yoshinaka, Sadahira is unable to return to his family. In her loneliness Toshiko turns to Hachiro, but he leaves her to search for his father. The news of Sadahira’s death in the first battle of the Heike wars reaches Toshiko shortly before her father’s army attacks and forces her and her children to flee for their lives into poverty.
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