Just finished the trilogy and loved it however the second book rather bleak, mainly because there is not a hopeful character like Shigeru. This book should have been of the first or second but not one into itself. Most compelling is development of Kaede who changes the most from beginning to end of trilogy. I was very irritated by a reader who skipped her part of the book and referred to the author saying that HE the writer made her too strong in the first book. The writers is a woman and SHE does a great job of showing the struggle of faced by and independent women who dares to go against tradition. Also I had to remind myself that these were 16 year old kids hormone-ridden children who like most teens act stupidly and think they are invincible. Another refreshing aspect is the free expresion of homosexuality. shown in this book as sacred by the love of Makoto, and perverse in Lord Fijuware.
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