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Harsh Cry of the Heron Audiobook

Harsh Cry of the Heron: The Last Tale of the Otori

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Publisher's Summary

An epic fantasy set in a mythical, medieval Japan, Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series has crossed genres, generations, and genders. Grand and complex in its themes, elegantly written, each book in the original trilogy has become a worldwide best seller. This surprise fourth installment (and real conclusion), The Harsh Cry of the Heron, achieves new heights of drama and action.

16 years of peace and prosperity have passed since Lord Otori Takeo united the Three Countries. Takeo and his beloved consort, Kaede, have three daughters and a happy family life. Their success has attracted the attention of the distant Emperor and his general, the warlord Saga Hideki, who covet the wealth of the Countries. Meanwhile, the violent acts and betrayals of the past will not lie buried, and other secrets will not stay hidden. Everything that Takeo and Kaede have achieved is threatened.

In full ninja versus samurai fashion, Hearn delivers a kinetic, heartbreaking, and uplifting resolution to a thoroughly gripping saga.

Don't miss the rest of the Tales of the Otori series.

©2006 Lian Hearn; (P)2006 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Seizes you from start to finish." (The Washington Post)
"Hearn seamlessly fuses fact and fantasy to create a sprawling, bewitching realm of magic." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Otori saga gets better with each book, and this is the most absorbing entry in the series, complete with intrigue, magic, romance, and action. A perfect final chapter." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1419 )
5 star
 (678)
4 star
 (470)
3 star
 (187)
2 star
 (51)
1 star
 (33)
Overall
4.3 (573 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (568 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (61)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Helen Seattle, WA, United States 09-26-06
    Helen Seattle, WA, United States 09-26-06 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "I miss the former narrators!"

    Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone wove the Tales of the Otori into a graceful and lyrical dance. Their replacements fall flat with overly dramatic reading and wierd accents.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CT 10-31-06
    CT 10-31-06 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Let Down"

    Like others reviewing this book, I greatly enjoyed the first 3 books in the series. However, this one was much less entertaining and I agree the ending was a great disappointment.

    I also did not care for the narrators as they gane a "fake" feeling to the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 10-18-06
    Lisa 10-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    343
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    "Don't do it!"

    After listening to the first three Tales of the Otori I would have a difficult time heeding my own advice, but really, don't get this book! I was excited to hear the next installment because the others were so pleasurable, with that intense mixture of interesting characters in a world balanced between fantasy and plausibility.

    Unfortunately, this book is just terrible. The fantastical aspects have run amok, and were bizzare and unenjoyable. Ms Hearn seems to have forgotten her characters, because they became inconsistant and unlikeable in this overwhelmingly boring and frustrating tale. To add to the horror, the female narrator was terrible, only employing two voices - deep and annoying, or high and annoying.

    Your imagination will give this series a far better ending than it's original author did...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isaac 09-18-11
    Isaac 09-18-11 Member Since 2013

    I drive a lot for work,and when I drive I listen to audible. Life is good. In my mid-30's now, and I mainly listen to Fantasy books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    556
    15
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    11
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    Story
    "What a disappointment after a great first three!"

    I loved the first three books. The narration in this latest book was the fist thing that I found less than desirable. While not horrible, it was distracting from the story.
    Then the story... Ugh! The first three books were clean and fast. This book was almost like the author went out of her way to make the book bloated and filled with indulgence.
    I normally love longer books, as I see it as more bang for the buck. More world building, better characters normally make a better story.
    Not in this book. I found myself checking to see how many more hours I was going to have to wait until I find out what happens.
    It wasn't horrible, but as a followup to a wonderful trilogy, it fell short. Maybe if I hadn't enjoyed the other books so much I would have thought better of this book. Oh well, maybe the prequel will be better... When I can actually bring myself to try it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Oceanside, CA, USA 05-14-07
    Nancy Oceanside, CA, USA 05-14-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
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    0
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    "READ this one.."

    Agreeing in full with other reviewers about Kevin and Aiko's reading of the previous books and the blatant lack of enjoyment I had with this one.
    I gritted my teeth through the first chapter with Henri Lubatti, finding his monotone sing-song voice to be very akward and anti-climactic to Kevin's. It severly lacked any draw-in that I was enjoying with the previous books. Plus, Henri's lack of experience with pronouncing japanese words (where Ho-oh is pronounced hoo-ooh, like a hoot owl) made it even worse.
    Then I listened to Julia fletcher for 2 minutes and gave up. She, too, was imperfect in her Japanese and even worse in her read of the female characters which Aiko had given so much character and drama to.

    Sorry, but I'm going to buy the book and I urge those who enjoyed the first three books on audio to do the same and let Kevin and Aiko read for you in your mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 05-09-07
    George 05-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    28
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    1
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    "Masterful and Engaging"

    This whole series of audio novels about classic Japan is fascinating. The characters are substantial, and the plots worth pursuing. Invest a little time and Lian Hearn will take you to some new and interesting places. Highly recommended, especially for the history buff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marty New York, NY, USA 12-18-06
    Marty New York, NY, USA 12-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Very disappointing!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 09-29-06
    Kevin 09-29-06

    Lover of Reiki, good food and all things Japanese

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent book, poor narrating"

    I must agree with Helen's review, in the previous 3 books, Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone made the Tales of the Otori saga. They did not only read the stories with great enthusiasm, but you actually believed that they were actually Lord Takeo and Lady Kaede.
    Unfortunately, Henri Lubatti?s failure to fall into character along with his slow mono-toned narrating made it difficult to follow and Julia Fletcher?s narrating was somewhat better, but still lacked inspiration.
    The Story deservers a 5 star rating, but the narrators hurts it's overall rating considerably.
    I would consider buying the hardcover just so that the book is more enjoyable.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Biglumux 05-11-16
    Biglumux 05-11-16

    ldp1114

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Final Tale"

    I have been an avid Lian Hearn fan since discovering the first "Tales" in a discount store book bin. It was an auspicious purchase. I find her writing fascinating. I have also found the audio versions totally engrossing. Unfortunately, the narrator's of the original trilogy were changed for this final book. These narrators were good, but just not as engaging as the originals had been. I tried to judge them on their own merit, however, the male narrator sounded proverbially bored. Irregardless, I am sorry the tale has ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawna Bynum 05-09-16 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    42
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "Disappointing end to a fantastic series"

    The first three books drew me in, but this one, not so much. All of the characters that were so warm and enlightened became flat and cold.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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