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Heaven's Net Is Wide: A Prequel to Tales of the Otori | [Lian Hearn]

Heaven's Net Is Wide: A Prequel to Tales of the Otori

Set before Tales of the Otori begins, Heaven's Net recounts the life of Lord Otori Shigeru, the series' spiritual warrior-godfather and the adoptive father of the Tales' Takeo. We learn about Shigeru's training; his relationship with the Tribe of mysteriously powerful assassins; his fateful meeting with Lady Maruyama, who would become his secret lover; the battle of Yaegahara, where his father is killed; and other turning points that shaped the Tales.
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Publisher's Summary

As Tolkien's The Silmarillion is to The Lord of the Rings, Liam Hearn's Heaven's Net Is Wide is to Tales of the Otori. This is the back story fans have been yearning for.

Set before the Tales begin, Heaven's Net recounts the life of Lord Otori Shigeru, the series' spiritual warrior-godfather and the adoptive father of the Tales' Takeo. We learn about Shigeru's training in the ways of the warrior and feudal lord; his relationship with the Tribe of mysteriously powerful assassins; his fateful meeting with Lady Maruyama, who would become his secret lover; the battle of Yaegahara, where his father is killed; and other turning points that shaped the Tales. The first four volumes gave us only glimpses. Now we are treated to rich detail and more of Hearn's fantastical Japanese world.

Gripping and bewitching, Heaven's Net is a new beginning and a grand finale; a story of monumental battles, supreme loyalty, triumphant love, and heartbreak. It ends just before Across the Nightingale Floor begins, bringing the Otori epic full circle.

©2007 Lian Hearn. Recorded by arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc; (P)2007 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Equal parts historical fiction, high fantasy and revelatory Taoist fable, the now complete Tales of the Otori is a saga to be treasured." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (850 )
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4.4 (285 )
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  •  
    Maria Brighton, CO, USA 07-16-08
    Maria Brighton, CO, USA 07-16-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    614
    12
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    4
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    Overall
    "Extremely Satisfied"

    I listened the first 3 books of the Otori 3 years ago and just loved them. I found this prequel by chance and couldn't wait to listen to it. This was a very satisfying listen. I was so pleased with the book, that I listened to the other 3 again.

    Much that is wonderful in Across the Nightingale Floor (1st book) is the enigma surrounding Shigeru’s motives for finding and harboring Takeo. Shigeru is truly inscrutable and devious and charming. This second time around, a lot of the mystery surrounding Takeo seemed reasonable and ordinary, where it was originally puzzling, strange and exciting.

    I would recommend listening to this prequel only after you have already finished Across the Nightingale Floor.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristoff Plymouth, MA, USA 08-31-07
    Kristoff Plymouth, MA, USA 08-31-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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    24
    4
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    "Much better than I expected!"

    I loved the Otori Series, but I was some what sceptical that this story would live up to the first three (I was slightly let down by book 4). Sometimes prequels released after a succesful trilogy seem to be an attempt by the other and publisher to make some extra cash off the series' popularity (i.e. Starwars etc). Not so here. This book was a great story about Otori Shigeru and the events leading up to his discovery of Otori Takeo. Shigeru makes for a fantastic main subject and he deserved to be the focus of his own story. I have been inspired to continue listening to the stories all over again.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Philadelphia, PA, USA 09-06-07
    Craig Philadelphia, PA, USA 09-06-07 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    "Lian Hearn has done it again!"

    I am a great fan of the Otori series. This prequel is a wonderful treat. So good, I am listening to the series again. Its amazing the number of loose ends this prequel ties up for you that you did not even know existed. I highly, highly recommend!!!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betania Carlsbad, CA, United States 03-19-10
    Betania Carlsbad, CA, United States 03-19-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    78
    23
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    "enjoyable if you read the previous books"

    I found this last novel in the series enjoyable, especially because I had read the previous novels in the series. It is a prequel but is best read at the end. The story comes full circle and some things you already read about in previous books are explained (others were already obvious in the first books), which is fun and satisfying. The other books might stand alone but this is probably only really interesting if you have already read them.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Visalia, CA 09-23-07
    Patricia Visalia, CA 09-23-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    220
    5
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    "Very Pleased"

    I'm very pleased with this prequel. I was wondering if I would really like it, but I could not unplug my ipod. Better than book 4.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-30-09
    09-30-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    322
    13
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    1
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    "Rarely take the time to share my experiences"

    My pleasure in "reading" and rereading all the Tales of the Otori books nudged my to share my experience with others. I very rarely reread books, but these are never boring. They seem to provide a pleasant experience even as the protagonists face terrible challenges. I presume it is the wisdom and strong principles with which the lead characters face their difficulties that keeps the experience uplifting. The atmosphere set by the reading and music adds much to the listening pleasure.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 05-11-08
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 05-11-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    260
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    206
    91
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    "weegun"

    I am entering a second review. I have bought many audio books and CD's. This is the finest production I have yet to enjoy. So well written, masterful. I have no leaning to this type of story but this tale is so well done in every way that I have listened to the entire set of stories many times and have enjoyed them more each time.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly MERIDIAN, Idaho, United States 02-16-12
    Shelly MERIDIAN, Idaho, United States 02-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    15
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    3
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    "Sad to be done with this series."

    I actually had to give myself some time to grieve when I was done with this series. Normally, I start a new book the same day I finish one, but occassionally I have to let myself say goodbye to characters. I had to do that after finishing this book. I had listened to all five books, and had fallen in love with the beautiful, strong, and humble characters. I fell in love with the land, the traditions, and the passionate patriotism the people held for their countries. It was hard to say goodbye, I didn't want it to end.

    The story is written so incredibly well. It takes you back hundreds of years and makes you appreciate another time and the struggles they went through, the hardships they had to endure. As I read, I could imagine the country and the people, even though I don't know a lot about historical Asian culture; Hearn painted the picture in my mind.

    Another part of this book that I loved was the faith that the characters held. They may have held different beliefs, but they held them very strongly. I am a Christian with much faith. And even though some of the people in this book believed differently than me (in The Enlightened One), it helped to increase my faith just by seeing the absolute, unmoving stand they took towards their belief. It was beautiful.

    Then there was The Hidden. They touched my heart so much. What a struggle they endured! And all for God! It was incredible. God told us we would be persecuted for our faith in Him, and these people were a great example for me and how I would hope to stand firm in my faith during persecution.

    All in all, one of the greatest series I've read. I could not have asked for more. I chose "Across the Nightingale Floor" on a whim, and I'm so glad I did! This series truly blessed me. I encourage anyone and everyone to read these books!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat San Pedro, CA, United States 08-01-10
    Pat San Pedro, CA, United States 08-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    32
    3
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    "Loved it!"

    Read the first Otori series and loved them as well. I especially loved the ending of Heaven's net which leads me to believe that there is another book coming. When I finished Heaven's net I went to Audible to see if there was a sequel to this book by Lian Hearn but sadly "no". I'm was having trouble connecting the prequel to Book 1, Lord Sagaro to Lord Takao, but it didn't matter I still enjoyed the book.

    Good job!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda humble TX 02-17-12
    Lynda humble TX 02-17-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    98
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    "Outstanding series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this books to everyone who loves historical stories of love, war,and adventure.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The wonderful love story between tako and his wife no matter where it took them.


    Which character ??? as performed by J. Paul Boehmer and Julia Fletcher ??? was your favorite?

    Paul Boehmer and Julia Fletcher out did themselves with each character.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend them anyone who likes this type of book. I could listen to them many more times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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