The year is 1311.
In the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows castle, a beautiful woman watches as enemies gather below. As she calmly awaits her fate, she begins to write the secret history of the Okumichi clan, of the gift of prophecy they share and the extraordinary destiny that awaits them. Six centuries later these remarkable writings are discovered by an American missionary, Emily Gibson, who has fled to Japan to escape a tragic past. Soon an extraordinary man will enter her life: Lord Genji of the Okumichi clan, a nobleman with a gift of prophecy who must defend his embattled family - and confront forbidden feelings for an outsider in his midst. Courted by two Western diplomats, Emily discovers that her heart belongs to the one man she cannot have. But she has found a mission: translating Genji's ancestral history, losing herself in an epic tale of heroism and forbidden love, including the story of Lady Shizuka, the beautiful witch-princess who has enchanted Okumichi men for generations. As Emily unravels the magical stories, she begins to see threads of her own life woven into the ancient writings. And as past and present collide, a hidden history comes to life, and with it a secret prophecy that has been shrouded for centuries, and may finally be revealed.