First the bad news...
The combination of Japanese names and jumping between various sub-plots, times and cultures can be challenging in an audio book. I imagine that this would be less disruptive in the written form.
I found it worth the effort. Besides being entertaining, I absorbed a bit of Japanese history in spite of my general impatience with anything vaguely educational. It was somewhat of a cross between "Shogun" and the "Otori Trilogy". The ending was somewhat disappointing in that it seemed to resolve little and largely attempt to sell the next book of the series. To that extent, it worked - I'm anxious for the unabridged version of "Autumn Bridge"
If this book has any socially redeeming value it is lost on me. It's written to a fifth grade reading level. The characters are two dimensional and stereotypical.
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