Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn
Beautiful. Simple, tight prose, telling a deeply moving story.
Can’t wait to read the next one.
Three things I learned about writing:
- What a society condemns is just as important to making it feel lived-in as what it praises.
- Characters don't always have to be imposing their will on the world. They can show their inner character by the opportunities they take advantage of, as well.
- In a world of bad choices and flawed people, heroes can be cruel and cowardly, and villains can show mercy.