I thoroughly enjoyed this story, in part because it was told in a different style than I?m used to reading/hearing. Normally I?m put off by an alteration in style, but I?m always willing to give something new a try and in this case the reward was an engaging, interesting tale of intrigue, love, war and obligation that was entertaining and unpredictable.
This is a fantastic story! Not only can I not wait to start book two, "Grass for His Pillow" - which I'll do today (!) - I was happy to find that the newly-published book three, "Brilliance of the Moon", is already available through audible.com.
I think this book owns all five stars easily; it's a well-written book with a great story to tell and readers who do a great job telling it. I agree with Lisa from Newton, CT, that the female reader does change the flow of the reading and is rather stilted. It was almost a tiny jolt whenever the narration turned over to her, but I found that after a few moments my ear would get used to her voice and the story would take over again.
I also agree with Jody from Tulsa, OK, that the names are a bit difficult (and hard to remember) because they're unfamiliar, so a look over the printer version at some point may help...
But overall a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!
A beautifully written, magical story about love, murder, deceit, and honor.
The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is because I felt the female voice was somewhat dispassionate. Thankfully the story is so captivating it is easy to get past the rather irregular and stilted cadence of the reader. On the other hand, the male reader is wonderful and fortunately is the voice for more than 50% of the story.
I became interested in this book by reading the reviews and was a bit skeptical because I don't usually enjoy period pieces or fantasy. The fantasy in this book was so believable it didn't seem supernatural. The names were very difficult to get used to. I listened to this one twice because I had trouble keeping the characters straight. This book was extremely well written, well narrated and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good story
I love most books that transport me to another time and place & books that uplift my spirit.
Wonderful storyline and characters. Fantastic readers too! It is so hard to turn my car off, because I just want to keep listening. I cannot wait till I can listen to second and third book. I really love this book.
Since I first watched the series "Shogan" when I was a young man I have been a big fan of Japanise fare. I know that such fiction does not really reflect the whole reality of those times but for pure entertainment I found this and "Grass for His Pillow", the companion book really hard to beat. I have an hour commute to and from work and I found myself looking forward to the drive each day, just to get back to the story.
Once I began this book, I could not stop listening. Well-written, well read, the mental imagery Hearn painted put me right in the middle of feudal Japan. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
This story, set in feudal Japan, grabbed my interest from the first sentences. Elegant prose, compelling characters, and a fast moving story expertly read ... I couldn't turn it off!
This book isn't the best I've ever read (or listened to), but it's impossible to put down. It suffers from a common problem of long build-up and quick resolution. The characters are well-developed, but some disappear so abruptly at the end of the book, it's unclear why so much time was devoted to them in the beginning. The narrators are generally good, and it's nice to have two voices. The female narrator is sometimes a bit annoying though - she often sounds as if she's talking to 5-year-olds or ESL students - very s-l-o-w and clear, waaayyy too clear. Still, I couldn't stop listening (literally), and enjoyed every moment of it. I would definitely recommend this.