Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (The Tale of Shikanoko #2)


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Title: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child
Series: The Tale of Shikanoko #2
Author: Lian Hearn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 289
Format: Kindle digital edition


Synopsis: Spoilers

Shikanoko raises his 5 “sons” and slowly regains his powers so that he can confront the Abbot again. The boy emperor hooks up with some entertainers and becomes a monkey trainer. The boy emperor’s protector and Shikanok’s love interest, is out on her own, pregnant with Shikanoko’s child.

Shikanoko finally confronts, and defeats, the Abbot but in the process loses control of his 5 spider children, who are only getting stronger and stronger in magic. Shikanoko’s lover dies at the Abbot’s hand and the boy emperor’s child companion, who was taking care of Shikanoko’s child, drowns along with his kid.

And in defeating the Abbot, Shikanoko gives himself fully to the forest magic which controlled his mask. He is no longer in control of his destiny. Happy Endings all round!


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this more than the first book, Emperor of the Eight Islands. Partially because it wasn’t as depressing. Which, given my synopsis, is kind of hard to believe, but it’s true.

Given that this is a japanese fairy tale, I am not expecting a happy ending to the series as a whole. Even in this book, Shikanoko loses his love, his child, his chance at determining his own destiny and quite possibly ANY happiness for the rest of his life.

Makes me thankful my life is as boring as it is.

If you like slightly depressing stories filled with magic, heroes, swords and warriors and like eastern existentialism, this series should make you miserably ecstatic.





  1. Review of Book 1

14 thoughts on “Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (The Tale of Shikanoko #2)

  1. I’m reading this one (and book III) very soon! (<- As soon as I can get to the library and pick it up!) I loved book I, and wow, you're right, I can't believe that book II will be any cheerier with a description like that 😅 Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then definitely check these out. My only issue is that all 4 books tell an overarching story and so each book doesn’t stand so well on it’s own.

      If you want to check out something older of hers, try “the Nightengale floor”, which is the start of her Tales of the Otori. Not quite so fairytale’ish though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps deeply melancholic would be a better word choice? It’s not that there isn’t any satisfaction, but Shikanoko is NOT a knight who ends up with the princess, the castle, the happily ever after.

      Liked by 1 person

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