I enjoyed the Tales of the Otori trilogy. The story has good pacing, interesting characters, and just a bit of magic that doesn't put it too far into the fantasy genre.
Of the three books, I thought the last, Brilliance of the Moon, was the weakest. Good action to be sure, but the book tried to cover too much ground. There was some plot resolution by Deus Ex Machina. Perhaps my preference for the first book is that I first learn about a strange new world and characters that live larger than life. By the third book, it's less about showing us this strange world and more about tying up loose ends.
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