I really liked and highly recommend the first three books of this series. Also I feel there are some people that will like this book, perhaps even see it as profound.
However, I'm listening for entertainment and this story just didn't come together for me. In this book the heroes repeatedly make agonizingly poor decisions. These decisions were based on some kind of radical pacifist honor/philosophy, the "way of the who" which was billed as the best thing since sliced bread but in the end produced nothing positive. To the story's credit these descisions or lack of decisions resulted in fairly realistic outcomes. Outcomes for the heroes that the book tries to show as honorable but to me were pitifully tragic.
I had such high expectations for this book. I kept expecting things to come together but in the end it just made me feel depressed.
Wow, what a disappointment after the first 3 books. The characters (pretty much all of them) seemed to suddenly become ridiculously naive after 16 years. Takeo would never have managed to take power if he had been this soft in the first books and it was just not very believable. The voices are very poor considering the range of characters required of the narrators. In addition to the poor writing there is a section missing where the narration seems to skip an entire page of the book and this was not caught in editing. Unfortunately this problem was the least of the audio book?s issues. I should have stopped after book 3.
I loved the first 3 books. This one did not come close to the quality of the others. The main protagonists I had come to care about act completely out of character. There are too many loose ends and inexplicable actions. I was completely disgusted at how Kaede was portrayed in this story (though her part has been whittled down to almost nothing). The book dragged,and I found myself getting bored through long middle sections. This was not a fitting ending for the heroes of the initial trilogy. I wish I had not read it so I could keep the memory of the original characters as they were initially written.
After loving the previous books in the series as a sort of "guilty pleasure", this last book ruins all of the joy and spirit of the series. The characters I sympathized with in the previous books are rendered flat, and to make matters worse the new characters added (of which there are a ton) are not compelling or sympathetic either. I found myself actually yelling at the audiobook towards the end - Kaede and Takeo both wind up making terrible, out-of-character decisions just to fit a bad "prophecy" plot device.
I'd advise folks to skip this one, and stick with the better, more ambiguous ending of the first 3 novels.
I loved all 4 books of the Tales of the Otori series. I have been an audible customer for 4 years and these are by far my favorite books. The narration is excellent. Hearn is able to set each scene with beautiful description without going overboard. I am sad this is the last chapter. If you have trouble keeping up with all of the characters, check Hearn's website. I do recommend that you read them in order, I think you would be lost if you did not. ENJOY!
I was rather Disappointed with this one. I listened to the authors first 3 books though it had been almost a year. Since I had forgotten some of the charactors over that period of time, it was hard to remember names as charactors entered the story. Many of their names are very similar. What really disappointed me the most was the ending. I realize that not all stories end with everyone living "Happily Ever After" I got the impression that the author must have had a tragedy in their life as they were getting ready to write the ending of the book, and decided to share their depression.
I am a fan of this set of 4 Tales of the Otori books. The first 3 had excellent narriators and I was very dissapointed to see that they did not complete the fourth and last book of this excellent series. Because of the narriators, I had difficulty keeping focused on the book. But, as always, once I was able to focus on the story, it was a supurb ending to the series. If you listened to the first 3 and loved them, I would recommend reading the last book as to not ruin the characters for yourself.
I would have given this audible 5 stars, but the narriators were horrible. I couldnt bring myself to give this audible less than 4 stars however, as the story is very well written and complete.
Great Saga!!! The first book started slowly but the others were great and I thought the last book, "Harsh Cry of the Heron" was the best. It was very well done and the only negative remark I could make would be the narrators. But getting past that, I find myself longing for another Saga from this author.
I enjoyed the readers in this one, though I did not think they were as strong as those who previously handled the series.
Hearn once again shows an ability to create a wonderful setting and story premise. However, she once again shows an inability to conclude a plot line consistently with either the characters or the plot lines she has developed. There are many equally fine places for a story to end and Hearn chose one of them. She just did not get us there in a way that was true to the characters (one in particular) or a logical plot line. I am reluctant to use more detail for fear of spoiling the story.
I really enjoyed the first 3 Tales of the Otori from the characters, their circumstances, and how they dealt with them. I grew to love the characters and I was left satisfied with the ending never dreaming there would be a fourth book. Imagine my surprise and elation when I discovered 'Harsh Cry of the Heron."
As the title suggests, the book is not a cheery one. In fact I'll go so far as to say it's thoroughly depressing from beginning to end. There are a few shining moments, but the ending completely negates them. I found myself trying to rationalize the story as it unfolded. The story of Camelot and Shakespeare's tragedies came to mind. However the ending seemed to contrived, too artificial, the character's actions too unreal as if the author had an end in mind, but no clear path to reach it.
As for the narrators, I didn't find them disagreeable.
If you enjoyed the first three Tales, my advice is to steer clear of this one.