Eighth book in Laura Joh Rowland's mystery series featuring Sano Ichiro.
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April 01, 2003
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Excerpt from The Dragon King's Palace by Laura Joh Rowland
Across dark water skimmed the boat, bound on a journey toward misadventure. Poles attached to the narrow, open wooden shell supported a red silk canopy; a round white lantern glowed from a hook above the stern. Beneath the canopy a samurai sat, plying the oars. He wore cotton summer robes, his two swords at his waist. Though his topknot was gray and his face lined with age, his muscular body and deft movements retained the vigor of youth. Opposite him, on pillows that cushioned the bottom of the boat, a woman reclined, trailing her fingers in the water. The lantern illuminated her flowing black hair and skin radiantly white and limpid as moonbeams. An aqua kimono patterned with pastel anemones adorned her slim figure. Her lovely face wore a dreamy, contented expression.
"The night is so beautiful," she murmured.