Shea, Robert J.

Shike: Time of the Dragons (1981)


Shike is a two-volume novel published in 1981 by Robert Shea. It fictionalises and compresses Japanese history in order to incorporate the Genpei War and attempted invasion of Japan by the Mongols within the lifespans of two characters: Jebu — a fighting monk of the Order of Zinja who is a highly fictionalized version of Benkei — and Taniko — the minor noblewoman with whom he falls in love on his first mission — escorting her to an arranged marriage with a far older and extremely influential nobleman.

The story is about how Jebu and Taniko are forced onto opposing sides of a civil war, and Taniko's growth as a woman whose fate moves her from one powerful man to another, eventually becoming grandmother to a shogun. In all, the story can be viewed as a tragedy, as Taniko's social importance and Jebu's loyalty to his order will always prevent them from truly being together.


Shike series: 1. Time of the Dragons, 2. Last of the Zinja


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