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Across the Nightingale Floor

Tales of the Otori, Book 1
Narrated by: Tamblyn Lord, Anna Steen
Series: Tales of the Otori, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An international best seller, Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn.

In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.

The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assassin and a member of the Tribe, an ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills.

When Takeo's village is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor - and to his own unimaginable destiny....

©2002 Lian Hearn Associates Pty Ltd (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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Profile Image for Georgia
  • Georgia
  • 07-30-16

Ruined by intrusive, loud music

I've read this book, and was looking forward to hearing the audiobook. And I have to say, the story was as engrossing as I remembered - and the two narrators did it justice.

HOWEVER, the music was really intrusive - cymbals crashing at almost random intervals, and instrumentals played over the top of narration! As someone that listens to audiobooks at night, while driftng off to sleep, I've always found musical interludes and sound effects annoying (they always seem much louder than the narrators!) This recording hit new lows...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-20-18

by far a must read for anyone

never been so captivated by a book in all my life 10 out of 10

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for anon
  • anon
  • 12-09-17

Pure magic

What did you like most about Across the Nightingale Floor?

The intriguing mixture of history, religion and magic. Every part of the story is described perfectly and draws you in.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really loved all of them. Especially Takeo, Lord Shigeru and Kaede

Any additional comments?

I read these books as a child and the series was definitely among my favourites. I don't think I will ever get sick of re-listening.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for J. Johns
  • J. Johns
  • 10-25-16

Great captivating story!

Any additional comments?

This is a great story that I have read before but wanted to revisit on long car journeys. Well read and very captivating, but it is let down by the addition of inappropriate and unnecessary oriental music. At one point the climax is delayed by almost a minute of weird music and then a silence. Please get rid of this - it detracts from the listening experience.

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Profile Image for Christina
  • Christina
  • 09-27-15

One of the best books ever written

This book captured my heart when I read it on paper, and again now in spoken word. Hearing this story allows you to enter an entirely different world. It is a beautiful heartbreaking story and one of my favourites ever

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Andrew
  • Andrew
  • 07-30-15

Atnf

I loved this story. I also liked the reader because the voice was Australian. I found that strange but funny

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mary
  • Mary
  • 12-17-16

the readers spoilt the book for me.

What did you like most about Across the Nightingale Floor?

The story & the characters are well written.

What other book might you compare Across the Nightingale Floor to, and why?

Lynn Flewelling trilogies spring to mind. Dale Furutani also writes a good tale about Japan around the same time.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very much, I have copies of the audio by different readers and this is by far the worst.The music in-between chapters detracts from the flow of the story rather than enhances it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, after all it is a story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Todd
  • Todd
  • 05-19-17

Great story, but somewhat let down by the ending

I enjoyed this book. It was well on its way to being great, but is let down by both one of its main characters and the ending. Spoilers follow.

If the author had focused on Takeo only, instead of Kaede too, the book would have been way better. The pacing set by Takeo's story is halted whenever the perspective changes to Kaede. Her story is simply not as intriguing as Takeo's. Plus she has personality traits that defy logic. For example, she is abused and is the subject of unwanted male attention for over half her life. She even states multiple times that she "hates men" and that "men are monsters". Yet she instantly falls in love at first sight with Takeo just by looking at him. She also is almost raped for the second time near the end of the novel. And although disgusted and traumatized by this, proceeds to have sex with Takeo IMMEDIATELY afterwards (like minutes afterwards). I mean, come on.

The ending is also a letdown. We have a massive buildup to Iida's assassination and how Takeo trains himself to move silently across the Nightingale floor. But in the end it's all for nothing, because Takeo isn't even the one to kill Iida.

Despite all this, the story is good and the Takeo's journey is intriguing. It's worth a listen.The narration is ok, but being an Aussie, I found the Aussie narrators distracting. Especially Anna Steen. Her accent is jarring at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lachlan Peterson
  • Lachlan Peterson
  • 03-27-16

Fantastic and innovative

Fantastic story, eagrely moving on to it's sequel. The audiobook makes good use of sound effects to help set tones like that of ancient japan which adds to the story, and the 2 narrators helps differenciate the characters. Overall a great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 08-21-15

Best series ever

Incredible powerful, captures the power and blindness of first love. The combination of stories always keeps you listening for the next chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jeremy J
  • Jeremy J
  • 10-10-19

Simple yet effective Japanese feudal fiction

This is a well told, fairly straightforward story with a good balance of esoteric ninja magic, action and romance. The characters are well drawn and engaging. I wasn't gripped by the start but the story grew on me quickly. Good to see a strong female character with a female voice on narration.

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  • kathryn
  • 07-08-19

wonderful story

A memorable story, rich and descriptive. Great characters with well rounded and generous of detail.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 05-24-18

After Shogun I was looking for more tales of Japan

From the first 10 minutes I was in. The twin narration was excellent. The sounds of drums and symbols added to the drama

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Profile Image for Molly
  • Molly
  • 04-26-18

As good as I remembered!

Great book that I loved reading many years ago. Engaging story and easy listening. Recommend to any fantasy fans.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-30-17

Enjoyable Story- not so enjoyable production

I enjoyed the story but found the percussion interval music particularly obnoxious and jarring. I hope the other narrations in this series do not have the same issue.