The Emperor of the Eight Islands

The Emperor of the Eight Islands - Lian Hearn Set in a fantastical/mythical Japanese background, following the fortunes of a disparate group of people.
After the emperor is killed, his son is forced into hiding as a court favourite is placed on the throne instead. A nephew escapes his uncles attempt on his life and finds refuge in the forest.

There's quite a few threads woven into this tale, each chapter focuses on one main character which helps keep track of things. Occasionally you notice as one person advances the overall timeline of the story and you then go back a short time to catch up with the next character from where they were left off.

A good mix of natural and supernatural, suspenseful in places, with well written characters.