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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Autumn Princess, Dragon Child: The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 2

1. When Kazu became free from his uncle, Sademasa, and was transformed into Shika, what made his mask a source of both healing and sorrow?

2. As you read about the birth of Lady Tora’s sons (Kiku, Mu, Kuro, Ima and Ku), did you believe Sesshin’s prediction that they were demons who needed to be killed? As Shika bonds with them, what does he discover about the power and limitations of kinship?

3. What are the common threads between the novel’s sorcerers (such as Shisoku) and monks (such as Gessho)? How does the Prince Abbot compare to them? Is he wise or foolish?

4. Is Takaakira benevolent or self-serving (or both) for taking Hina under his wing? Would you have kept her identity a secret, even from her own family?

5. Nyorin and Risu’s foal, Tan, is born on the same day as Take. Compared with other animals, what is different about the way horses are intertwined with the human saga in the novel?

6. Do you think Shika will be strengthened or shattered by the tragedies unleashed through Kuro’s venomous snake?

Autumn Princess, Dragon Child: The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 2
by Lian Hearn

  • Publication Date: June 7, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fantasy
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Originals
  • ISBN-10: 0374536325
  • ISBN-13: 9780374536329