Hana Naru Mono – Tsurumi Nishi
A beautiful dog has thrown the imperial palace into chaos. As the Heian period nears its end, Takasaki – whose lowly beginnings as the mere third son of a warrior family put him at a disadvantage in a society obsessed with rank and titles – has managed to climb the social ladder by spending the night with many a powerful man. Eventually Takasaki even becomes a favorite of the retired emperor himself. Stares of fear and envy have followed the gorgeous upstart at every turn, yet behind the gaze of Tomozane, the son of a powerful noble, lies a calm warmth, which makes Takasaki uncomfortable. But something happens that will change their relationship forever… It’s a tragic romance of passion and pride, and includes an epilogue drawn exclusively for this collection.
Didn’t see the “tragic” there until too late. I read this because that cover is lovely!
Written in the same vein as Genji Monogatari, where intrigues and betrayals exist at every turn. Upstarts use their body and scheme to bring other down to pull themselves up the social ladder. Sadly the true meaning of their motivations, actions and barbed poetry was lost in translation (heck, this is very tricky to translate) so I wasn’t that moved.