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The Nightingale

By Kara Dalkey

What is more important? Humanity or beauty?

In ancient Japan, a young girl named Uguisu gains the power of magical song through supernatural means. She hopes it will bring her her heart’s desire. But instead it leads her to the halls of Japan’s Imperial power, to the attention of the Emperor himself, and a danger she never expected. 

Soon she comes into conflict with a vengeful demon who competes with Uguisu for the Emperor’s favour in a fight between Uguisu’s humanity and the demon’s beauty and power. 

Based on the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, this retelling moves the story from China to Heian Japan, a period of faith, aristocracy and culture which in this story becomes a place of demons, poetry, and a very strange cat. 

The Nightingale is a retelling for our times and a celebration of a golden age of Japanese history. 

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