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Cloud of Sparrowsby Takashi Matsuoka
Reading Group Guide
Transporting readers to the beauty and intrigue of nineteenth-century Japan, Takashi Matsuoka has crafted a dazzling epic in two parts, Cloud of Sparrows and its sequel, Autumn Bridge.
A magnificent adventure in the tradition of James Clavells Shogun, the journey begins in 1861, when a beautiful American missionary arrives on the shores of Edo Bay and enters an exotic world of noblemen and geishas, samurai and Zen masters. In Cloud of Sparrows, Emily Gibson and Genji, Lord of Akaoka, begin a nimble test of wills in the midst of an invasion that threatens their most cherished beliefs. With spies and chilling omens lurking at every turn, Genji must flee to the spectacular Cloud of Sparrows Castle. The undertaking brings together an unlikely band from West and East, including Lady Heiko, whose prowess in the romantic arts is equaled by her capacity as a ninja.
Autumn Bridge presents an overwhelming revelation that links prophesies of the past—as far-reaching as the fourteenth century—to Lord Genjis improbable alliance with Emily. In the year 1311, while tumult rages outside Cloud of Sparrows, a beautiful woman sits down to write an extraordinary tale. Her words will not be uncovered for another five hundred years, when Emily will translate the troubling Autumn Bridge scrolls and see unmistakable threads of her own life woven into these ancient premonitions. Revealing historical details about the pivotal figures introduced in Cloud of Sparrows, Matsuoka presents a stunning finale that encompasses not only their origins but the empires fate—and beyond.
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Takashi Matsuokas Cloud of Sparrows and Autumn Bridge.
We hope they will enrich your experience of these captivating novels.
CLOUD OF SPARROWS
ISBN 0-385-33850-3 trade paperback
ISBN 0-385-33641-1 hardcover
Simultaneous eBook release
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