Sixteen-year-old Takeo's village has been massacred by an evil warlord, and he is about to be slain by the men who murdered his parents and neighbors. At the last moment, his life is saved by a nobleman, who claims the boy as his kin and begins his education.
But nothing is as it seems. Takeo discovers that he has rare powers that are useful to those around him. As he grows into manhood, he must decide where his loyalties lie: with his noble master and adoptive father; with the Hidden, a secret, spiritual sect whose beliefs are forbidden; or with the Tribe, the assassins and spies who consider him one of their own.
A story of treachery, political intrigue, and the intensity of first love, set in a world ruled by formal ritual and codes of honor, Across the Nighingale Floor crosses genres, generations, and genders to captivate fans of all ages.
Don't miss the rest of the Tales of the Otori series.
©2002 Lian Hearn; (P) 2003 HighBridge Company
"The novel fills a unique niche that is at once period piece and fantasy novel." (Amazon.com)
This book has no depth of plot, characterization, setting, or theme. There is nothing "epic" about it. Containing no intellectual originality or artistic complexity of any kind, this adult reader found it trite and boring. A fantasy by formula, it was little more than a shallow cartoon and a total waste of time and money.
The male narrator is decent, but the female narrator is terrible! She speaks with such careful and exact enunciation that there’s a discernable pause between each word and a lesser one between each syllable. Everything seems so carefully metered – a syllable seems to take her the same length of time to say, no matter what syllable it is. It just doesn’t flow together like it should and thus seems laborious rather than natural.
Also, she severely understates emotion. One line, in particular, I recall, was read with a trace of exasperation. Not a lot – just a trace. And it was read in the same quiet tone as the rest of the script. The descriptor that followed it was “ she demanded irritably.” Um. Right. That really sounded like a irritable demand.
I’m only a couple of hours into the book now, but I give up. I actually started cheering when Takeo’s section started up again. If I’m that happy to not hear the narrator’s voice, there’s something wrong. Somewhere along the way, I’ve picked up a paperback copy, so I’ll be finishing this one in print.
The writing and narration are so unremarkable that its popularity astonishes me. Not inherently bad, just completely by the numbers. Shogun beats it by miles for a fun tale of feudal Japan.
This was an average read - interesting enough to keep me listening but rather shallow characters that I never felt very attached to nor intrigued with. It was too short to have gotten very complex and I got the sense that the author cared more for imposing some assassin mystique than getting into the interesting depth of humans. The love story was disappointingly over-the-top lame and shallow. Good narration.
This book has it all -- wonderful prose, suspense, beautiful descriptions, great pace, and to top it all off, a history lesson in feudal Japan (which before this book I knew almost nothing).
A refreshing story about another culture in an earlier era. The characters come to life with emotion and feeling. Although filled with acts of cruelty and love, it is a beautiful and delightful listen.
I tried this book because I generally like Japanese stories. I really enjoyed the artistic quality of the imagery, the incredible honor yet powerful feeling in the characters, and the little bit of magic thrown in.
While the author does write with lyrical grace and skill, at times it comes across - at least to me - a bit indulgent and over the top. On the upside - some interesting concepts are explored in this Japanese/fantasy type setting. But in short, both the story and the character development are predictable and formulaic. When I'm rooting for the 'bad guys' - there are problems. If you are a James Clavell fan this book may not be a rewarding choice.
I purchased this book based on the reviews of others, this was one of the lamest books i've ever heard. The charactors were shallow and borring. The author tried too hard to make a good story. Save your money and get another book. The ending was absolutly unfullfilling.
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