Emperor of the Eight Islands

Narrated by: Neil Shah
Series: The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
4 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As destiny weaves its rich tapestry, a compelling drama plays out against a background of wild forests, elegant castles, hidden temples, and savage battlefields. This is the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn's imagination, where animal spirits clash with warriors and children navigate a landscape as serene as it is deadly.

©2016 Lian Hearn (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fun story. Bland story telling

When I read this in book before, I really enjoyed it. It didn't have a whole lot descriptors which meant I could consume a large portion of the story in a short amount of time. The author's ability to weave together a story is clearly there and I found myself enjoying the story. However, because the author doesn't use a whole lot of descriptors, and is very literal, it makes for a boring audible experience. And, since most of the names are from Japan, it's easy to lose track of where you're at in the story because you forget who is what character. My advice, read the story, but don't listen to it's audio book format.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Very Big fan of L.H. With very superficial characters and hollow story, I can't see myself continuing this novel.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

lacking, compared to his other works.

Wasn't as captivating as his earlier works. kept hoping it would get better but then it just ended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Downhill series after "The Emperor"

Having finished Otori, this first book of "Shika no ko" was engaging enough to motivate me to listen to it again to try to get a grasp on the story threads; and that was rewarding. Plunging into the next three books was not; my interest unraveled and I had to force myself to finish the last book. As a whole, they did not present more insight into the 8 isles, just more of the same: conniving, beheading and bedding. Death rate of characters is pretty high. After 3 books, I was debating whether 3 stars was generous. From personal experience, real Japan is much more interesting. That said, book 4 "Heron" saved the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantasy & Fables

Probably should be in the Young Adult ranks, multiple fantasies and little in the way of character or plot development. Although the narrator's enunciation was almost flawless, the rapid-fire introduction of many Japanese names was hard to keep up with.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enchanting

What did you love best about Emperor of the Eight Islands?

Lovely start to another historical/magical story of Japan. I'm so happy to have a new Lian Hearn series to absorb.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

an ok book

Well written book but it was too violent for my taste. It felt like there were too many characters and the voice actor wasn't good at the dialogue sections. I would have not finished this book hat it not been an audio book, I feel like it would have been too tedious.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tough Getting Into It

we loved the Otari series so eager for more Loan Hearn. I had to listen to most this twice to get into it but now look forward to Book 2!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enter the Darkwood

Lian Hearn's mystical world quivers with an adventure in medieval Japan. Sorcery and samurai clash and a hero is born from a stag....it's only the beginning. Three more to come.....enter this world and be thrilled