Tangled Spirits: A Novel
2023 FAPA Award Winner
An accidental spirit possession. A friendship unlike any other.
From debut author Kate Shanahan comes a captivating time-slip tale of magic, imperial intrigue, and a friendship that spans a thousand years.
“...a heartwarming glimpse into the Heian period of Japan and its mythology.” - Historical Novel Society
“For anyone unfamiliar with court life in ancient 10th century Japan… this is the book to read.” - Historical Fiction Company
“Tangled Spirits... held me spellbound with its intriguing main characters and sense of danger.” - M J Porter, best-selling author of the historical fiction series Eagles of Mercia
“I have huge admiration for the way Kate Shanahan has woven her fictional story into known history to create a fabulous tapestry of a novel.” - Lynn Bryant, author of The Peninsular War Saga
2019: Mina Cooper hopes her study-abroad program in Japan will solve her anxiety issues. After all, she’s doing what she loves - studying Japanese language and literature. But she’s still waking up at four am with a racing heart, so Mina decides to change her life, to change herself. And suddenly she has a lot more to be anxious about.
999: Desperately lonely after her mother and sister die in an epidemic, aspiring shaman Lady Masako attempts to summon them. But she’s inexperienced in such rituals, and pulls Mina’s spirit into her body instead.
After a struggle for control and a failed exorcism, the two spirits agree to cooperate long enough to get help from the Royal Astrologer, the only person powerful enough to send Mina home.
But his help comes at a cost. If Mina doesn’t pay it, she risks her spirit fusing with Masako’s. And if that happens, she’ll never get home.
Readers have this to say about Tangled Spirits:
“Mina’s journey in Tangled Spirits is the ultimate study-abroad experience, one that will excite and delight many a Japanophile reader. With the unique yet somehow intuitive idea of placing two characters in the same body, plus a dash of spirituality and time travel, it makes the most of its weird and wonderful premise to deliver a story that not only entertains but also has the potential to introduce Heian Japanese history to a new audience and touch readers with a story of friendship not quite like any they’ve read before.”
“The idea of two people, with totally different life experiences, inhabiting the same body and learning to ‘live’ together was fascinating, humorous at times and poignant at others.”