Jonathan Mirsky

A girl in a million

The Shogun’s Queen is both gripping and historically accurate, says Jonathan Mirsky. And the sex is good, too

All readers know that good novels draw us into other worlds. I cannot think of another, however, which so alarmed me as this one, just as events alarmed and frightened its central character.

She is Okatsu, a young woman from the samurai Satsuma Clan in mid-19th-century Japan. The country has been ruled by the shogunate, a military caste, since the early 17th century; the emperors were remote figures until their restoration to power in 1868.

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