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Brilliance of the Moon

Tales of the Otori, Book Three
Narrated by: Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,703 ratings)
Regular price: $25.87
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Publisher's Summary

In the final installment of the Tales of the Otori, the young Takeo meets his destiny, fulfilling the prophesy: "You were born into the Hidden, but your no longer your own."

The stage is set: Takeo and his new bride Kaede are on the brink of starting a war to reclaim the lands that are her rightful claim by birth, with a thousand loyal warriors by their side. But much more is at stake, with Takeo sworn to avenge the death of his adoptive father. Kaede, a not-at-all helpless damsel, has also cast a first stone by renouncing the powerful Lord Fujiwara, who considers her his first wife.

An imaginary feudal Japan is vividly reconstructed in this magical tale filled with clan rivalries, supernatural powers, shadowy tribes, and true love. Lian Hearn's epic fantasy of a conflict-ridden, mystical world has enraptured fans around the world, thanks to many complex mysteries, fascinating characters, and a riveting buildup to the dazzling finale.

Don't miss the rest of the Tales of the Otori series.
©2004 Lian Hearn (P)2004 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"A fragrant blend of romance and martial-arts action." (Publishers Weekly)
"A worthy conclusion to a genuinely thrilling epic saga." (Booklist)

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good trilogy. Book 3 is weakest.

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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A year of anticipation is over

This was a very entertaining trilogy which was surprisingly engaging. After listening to the first two audio books, I had been anticipating the release of the third book so much that I just had to buy the hardcover book a couple of months ago on the day it was released. The current book uses the same male and female narrators as before, who do an excellent job. While I believe that this is an essential book to tie up the story, I agree with the previous reviewer that it did not quite have the charm and quality of the first two. Some of the action in the last half of the book seemed very abridged, as though the author simply got tired of writing. As part of the trilogy it might deserve 4 stars, but not standing on its own. Even with its shortcomings, I highly recommend it.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good ending rushed

I loved this trilogy, but this last volume--still quite good--wasn't quite up to the first two. To me the basic conception was fine, but as the volume drew to an end the story felt more like a short and bare outline, without the developed detail and atmosphere that makes the earlier books so special. A publisher's deadline?

If you read the first two you don't need a review to want to read the conclusion. Read it. Just temper your expectations a little.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sid J.A.
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 12-29-04

Five Star Series 3 Star Reading

I listened to the entire series read by Kevin Grey and Aiko Nakasone. Kevin Grey did an amazing job, taking on a story with amazing depth and subtext. Aiko Nakasone left too much to be desired. She makes countless errors in her pronunciation and strains every sentence into the same painful cadence. Passages like "I could not stop weeping" and "She sat with her feet in the cool water" were read in exactly the same tone and rhythm. This series is one of the best pieces of fiction I have read in years. Read the books if you can. Or at least the chapters read by Aiko Nakasone, whose japanese accent is a novelty, which clutters the execution of this audio book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Eugenia
  • Chatsworth, CA, US
  • 10-21-11

Good, But Flawed

Would you try another book from Lian Hearn and/or Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone ?

I'm not so sure I'd try another book from Lian Hearn after hearing this trilogy. His writing consists of many scenes TOLD, not SHOWN which makes for some very dull scenes. I really enjoyed the two narrators, however. Their perfect Japanese vocal inflections and tone made for an involving and realistic glimpse into the ancient Japanese world.

If you’ve listened to books by Lian Hearn before, how does this one compare?

I listened to the first and second books in this trilogy and I thought this one compared favorably after a very slow start.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I would definitely go to see this as a movie. It is written in a very cinematic way---very

Any additional comments?

Too much of this trilogy, especially in this third book, is just told. When important scenes and character development is merely told to the reader and not shown, it makes for some pretty slow and dull reading/listening. Still, there were moments of excitment and some very good characters and relationships that kept me listening. My favorite part of the books, however, was the beautifully done insight into the manners, ways, and perceptions of these people during that time. I loved their intense relationship with nature and the world around them as well as the deep, quiet moments of time that they appreciated.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynda
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 04-08-05

Loved It!

I'm not sure about the writing as others have wanted to diminish, what I do know is that I didn't want the story to end and enjoyed all three books. It allowed me to escape into another world which after the first book was palpable and by the 3rd book was a place I knew intimately. I look forward to other books by the author as well as other books by the narrators, I thought they were excellent too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • Wesley Chapel, FL, USA
  • 03-21-05

A Very Poor Ending

I was greatly disappointed by the poor display of writing skills that was displayed by this closing novel in the Tales of the Otori. The first book, I still believe, was quite well written. The second installment was not up to par, but as an obvious bridge book to the building conclusion, I was willing to overlook it. However, I can grant no excuses to Mr. Hearn for what he did here in this closing volume. It left me feeling cheated and wanted to boo and hiss at him.

You'll probably want to listen to this book, if you've already heard the first two, but consider yourself forewarned.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a great trilogy!

This book is really good! I went through all three in a matter of days! The second one is a bit slow at times but this one definitly makes up for that. There is much more action in this book than the other two, but I felt it was done very well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • Salinas, CA, USA
  • 08-14-07

Great story, but...

...I could do without the detailed and graphic descriptions of the sexual liasons between the main characters. Seemed like low-brow pandering to me. It added nothing to the story, and deleting it would not diminish the story in any way. In fact, I found myself becoming annoyed with these constant detours and fast-forwarding over them to get back to the actual story line about the strategies and battles.

Despite this, the series is still entertaining.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Fitchburg, WI, USA
  • 08-18-04

Review of the Otori

I just finished reading this and I did not see a good review yet, so I thought I might say a few words.
This is a wonderful book that picks up where book two in the "Tales of the Otori" trilogy left off.
The whole series does a wonderful job of telling a truly epic tale. Over the three books the author touches on many topics and paints a beautiful portrait of the world that has been put together for the characters. By the end of the last book I was able to clearly envision the Three Countries and their inhabitants. The characters are all easy to identify with, and though it deals with difficult social mores of feudal Japan, the characters reasons for their actions where clearly understood.
The last book is very exciting and I found myself up very late to find out what happens at the end.
The entire trilogy is worth reading by anyone who enjoys a well written, excellently narrated, epic story of love and the conquering of evil, set in an exotic place and time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think most other people will too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful