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Heaven's Net Is Wide  By  cover art

Heaven's Net Is Wide

By: Lian Hearn
Narrated by: J. Paul Boehmer,Julia Fletcher
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Publisher's summary

As Tolkien's The Silmarillion is to The Lord of the Rings, Liam Hearn's Heaven's Net Is Wide is to Tales of the Otori. This is the back story fans have been yearning for.

Set before the Tales begin, Heaven's Net recounts the life of Lord Otori Shigeru, the series' spiritual warrior-godfather and the adoptive father of the Tales' Takeo. We learn about Shigeru's training in the ways of the warrior and feudal lord; his relationship with the Tribe of mysteriously powerful assassins; his fateful meeting with Lady Maruyama, who would become his secret lover; the battle of Yaegahara, where his father is killed; and other turning points that shaped the Tales. The first four volumes gave us only glimpses. Now we are treated to rich detail and more of Hearn's fantastical Japanese world.

Gripping and bewitching, Heaven's Net is a new beginning and a grand finale; a story of monumental battles, supreme loyalty, triumphant love, and heartbreak. It ends just before Across the Nightingale Floor begins, bringing the Otori epic full circle.

©2007 Lian Hearn. Recorded by arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc (P)2007 HighBridge Company

Critic reviews

"Equal parts historical fiction, high fantasy and revelatory Taoist fable, the now complete Tales of the Otori is a saga to be treasured." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Heaven's Net Is Wide

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Extremely Satisfied

I listened the first 3 books of the Otori 3 years ago and just loved them. I found this prequel by chance and couldn't wait to listen to it. This was a very satisfying listen. I was so pleased with the book, that I listened to the other 3 again.

Much that is wonderful in Across the Nightingale Floor (1st book) is the enigma surrounding Shigeru’s motives for finding and harboring Takeo. Shigeru is truly inscrutable and devious and charming. This second time around, a lot of the mystery surrounding Takeo seemed reasonable and ordinary, where it was originally puzzling, strange and exciting.

I would recommend listening to this prequel only after you have already finished Across the Nightingale Floor.

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Much better than I expected!

I loved the Otori Series, but I was some what sceptical that this story would live up to the first three (I was slightly let down by book 4). Sometimes prequels released after a succesful trilogy seem to be an attempt by the other and publisher to make some extra cash off the series' popularity (i.e. Starwars etc). Not so here. This book was a great story about Otori Shigeru and the events leading up to his discovery of Otori Takeo. Shigeru makes for a fantastic main subject and he deserved to be the focus of his own story. I have been inspired to continue listening to the stories all over again.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lian Hearn has done it again!

I am a great fan of the Otori series. This prequel is a wonderful treat. So good, I am listening to the series again. Its amazing the number of loose ends this prequel ties up for you that you did not even know existed. I highly, highly recommend!!!

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

enjoyable if you read the previous books

I found this last novel in the series enjoyable, especially because I had read the previous novels in the series. It is a prequel but is best read at the end. The story comes full circle and some things you already read about in previous books are explained (others were already obvious in the first books), which is fun and satisfying. The other books might stand alone but this is probably only really interesting if you have already read them.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Pleased

I'm very pleased with this prequel. I was wondering if I would really like it, but I could not unplug my ipod. Better than book 4.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

weegun

I am entering a second review. I have bought many audio books and CD's. This is the finest production I have yet to enjoy. So well written, masterful. I have no leaning to this type of story but this tale is so well done in every way that I have listened to the entire set of stories many times and have enjoyed them more each time.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Rarely take the time to share my experiences

My pleasure in "reading" and rereading all the Tales of the Otori books nudged my to share my experience with others. I very rarely reread books, but these are never boring. They seem to provide a pleasant experience even as the protagonists face terrible challenges. I presume it is the wisdom and strong principles with which the lead characters face their difficulties that keeps the experience uplifting. The atmosphere set by the reading and music adds much to the listening pleasure.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Knowing more made me like it less

I was a huge fan of the previous books in the series, so when I saw the opportunity to learn the backstory through this book, I jumped on it.

I completely agree with the other reviewer who suggested you read the prequel AFTER you've read the other books. Actually, I would recommend you read the others and just skip this one. I did not find it nearly as interesting as the others, particularly Nightengale.

Lian Hearn seems on a mission to say, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, they're Christian!" Over and over and over. Why? I didn't need it. It became a real distraction for me and overall, ruined my reading.

I don't recommend the book. Yes, I learned some things. But I got a lot more that I didn't want and wasn't interested in.

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5 people found this helpful

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

Worse Narration Ever

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I like the story and I thought I could stomach the narrators for the sake of the story but I found that it was impossible. I wasted the money buying the audio-books. I cannot listen to these two any longer. Please support the author and buy his book, but Never, Ever buy an audio book with either of these two narrating. I have heard bad narrators, but these two are worlds beyond the prior worst... Have I made myself clear?

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Stilted reading. Absolutely devoid of emotion.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Since I was a big fan of the first three Otori books, I was delighted when this was released. However, it never engaged me. Just a weak effort to capitalize on the success of the original trilogy.

Overall rather boring. If you're looking for more of the magic of Tales of the Otori, don't bother.

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3 people found this helpful