"His Kakuta Hands" was published in the anthology Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues.
About this story, author Lian Hearn says, "'His Kikuta Hands' is set in Maruyama, the farthest city to the west in the Three Countries. It takes place behind the scenes of chapter five of Brilliance of the Moon. I'd always wanted to expand these pages where a lot happens in a short space of time. Takeo feels he must take on the Tribe and demonstrate the ruthlessness he will need to be a competent ruler. But the Tribe don't believe, firstly, that he knows where to find them and, secondly, that he will have the strength of will to deal with them. They are proven wrong."
Not at all up to the standard of the Otori books, and extremely short, too. Not worth a credit!
What would have made His Kikuta Hands better?
This is a tiny little back story to a moment in the series. It feels like less than a full chapter in the books. It is only worth listening to if you are a fanatical fan of the series.
Would you try another book from Lian Hearn and/or Kevin T. Collins?
I'd absolutely would try, and have tried, other books by Lian Hearn. I probably wouldn't try anything else if Kevin T. Collins is reading it though
What didn’t you like about Kevin T. Collins’s performance?
It didn't match any of the other books in the series in tone or pronunciation of names and places. If you're going to switch readers at least make sure they pronounce the main character's names in the same way that the other readers of the series have.
Could you see His Kikuta Hands being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?