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In the year 1311, in the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows Castle, a beautiful woman sits by the window, watching as enemies gather below and fires spread through the night. As she calmly awaits her fate, she begins to write, carefully setting down on a scroll the secret history of the Okumichi clan...of the gift of prophecy they share and the extraordinary destiny that awaits them.
For six centuries, these remarkable writings lay hidden--until they are uncovered by an American woman, a missionary named Emily Gibson, who arrived in Edo harbor in 1861, in flight from a tragic past. Soon an extraordinary man would enter her life: Lord Genji of the Okumichi clan, a nobleman with a gift of prophecy who must defend his embattled family--and confront forbidden feelings for an outsider in his midst. Emily, too, soon finds herself at a turning point; courted by two westerners, she knows her heart belongs to the one man she cannot have. But Emily has found a mission of her own: translating Genji's ancestral history, losing herself in an epic tale of heroism and forbidden love.
For here is the story of Lady Shizuka, the beautiful witch-princess who has enchanted Okumichi men for generations...of Genji's ancestors, Lord Hironobu and Lord Kiyori, and of the terrible betrayals that befell them...and of Genji's parents: a wastrel father and his child bride whose tragic love has shaped Genji as a leader and as a man. As Emily sifts through the fragile scrolls, she begins to see threads of her own life woven into the ancient writings. And as past and present collide, a hidden history comes to life, and with it a secret prophecy that has been shrouded for centuries, and may now finally be revealed. Takashi Matsuoka's spellbinding novel is infused with spectacle, intricately woven, magically told. Autumn Bridge is a feast for the senses, a work of truly dazzling storytelling.

"From the Hardcover edition."

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About the Author

Takashi Matsuoka grew up in Hawaii. He lives in Honolulu, where he was employed at a Zen Buddhist temple before becoming a full-time writer. He is the author of the acclaimed novel Cloud of Sparrows, which is available in paperback from Dell.


Adult/High School-The characters in this epic tale of shogun-era mysticism fairly leap from the pages. Time lines cross, uncross, and converge in the tangled history of one of the great families of the age. Each great lord of the Okumichi clan comes to be known as a prophet who is often driven quite mad by his visions. What no one outside the family knows is that Lady Shizuka, who lived at Cloud of Sparrows castle until 1311, is the true visionary, and that she "visits" her descendants with knowledge of the future. In the 1800s, Lord Genji plays host to American Christian missionary Emily Gibson. She is charged not only with trying to convert the heathen Buddhists, but also with translating the scrolls that chart the history of the clan. Among the scrolls, Emily finds a hidden history of prophecy and knowledge seemingly written just for her: Lady Shizuka's writings, known as Autumn Bridge. The book is intricately plotted on a grand scale; the samurai code of duty, loyalty, and honor shines throughout. The heroism of individuals may be overshadowed by the arc of history, but it is the individual details that create the wonderfully complex atmosphere of feudal Japan. Although this is a sequel to Matsuoka's Cloud of Sparrows (Delacorte, 2002), it stands on its own. Teens interested in history, different cultures, or fantasy should enjoy Autumn Bridge.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

East collides with West in this complex, epic tale by Matsuoka (Cloud of Sparrows), in which the ability to see the future is transferred from generation to generation in a Japanese clan. The mid-19th-century inheritor of the clan's visionary powers is Lord Genji, a powerful samurai warlord who favors western style modernization for Japan but faces fierce opposition from the antiforeigner element. Compounding his political troubles is his peculiar love affair with a beautiful young American Christian missionary. Emily Gibson has been in Japan for six years, doing her missionary work, trying to hide her feelings for Genji and translating a series of mysterious scrolls recounting the history of the clan. As she reads the scrolls, she discovers inexplicable references to her own life and her association with Genji's family. Meanwhile, flashbacks describe centuries of tangled relationships and events that result in Genji's rise to power, focusing particularly on beautiful Shizuka, Genji's 14th-century forebear, who has the sharpest vision of the clan's future. The convoluted tale is bursting with too many characters and jumps around in time too much to be a smooth read-a 13th-century Mongol invasion, assassination, clan warfare, romantic rivalries and an estranged son and heir to Genji's rule round out the packed narrative-but Matsuoka's rich, authoritative storytelling makes this an engrossing read. Agent, Candice Fuhrman. (Aug. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

In this follow-up to his debut, Cloud of Sparrows-a People Page-Turner of the Week-a woman sits in a castle writing a story of medieval Japan as enemies gather below. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Stretching back and forth through the centuries, Matsuoka weaves a timeless tale of intrigue and romance."--Booklist "Matsuoka's rich, authoritative storytelling makes this an engrossing read."--Publishers Weekly "Offers one of the most impressive feats of storytelling to come along in years.... told in all the rich and exotic detail that made [Cloud of Sparrows] such a delight."--San Francisco Chronicle Books From the Hardcover edition.

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