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Publisher's Summary

The Tales of the Otori does for medieval Japan what Game of Thrones does for medieval Europe.

The bitter struggles of the Tribe and the clans have left many children orphaned. Among them are Sunaomi and Chikara, sons of Arai Zenko, who face death after their parents' treachery. Their aunt, Kaede, is able to save their lives on the condition they become novice monks and never leave the temple at Terayama.

Sunaomi has been brought up as a warrior, yet his grandmother is Muto Shizuka. He cannot escape that he is also a child of the Tribe. As he discovers unimagined talents within himself he comes up against Hisao, Takeo's son, the ghostmaster, as well as Saga Hideki, the most powerful warlord in the realm, the Emperor's General.

Taking place in the magical medieval world of Tales of the Otori, Orphan Warriors is a coming-of-age adventure story in a human world of courage and sacrifice behind which always hovers a supernatural world of danger and dread.

©2020 Lian Hearn Associates Pty Ltd (P)2020 Bolinda Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Brutally thrilling historical fantasy.'" (The Herald Sun)

"Huge imaginative vitality. Moves onwards with the narrative force of a flood." (The Sydney Morning Herald

What listeners say about Orphan Warriors

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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator has changed names and personalities!

I don't understand the hubris required to record a novel based on two well loved series, yet not even bother to look up how to pronounce Japanese names! All it would take was a peak at the webside for the Tales of the Otori, where the author explains all this.

It would have improved the listening experience immeasurably if the narrator had done the basic research if listening to the narrators if the earlier books convey each of the characters! That would have allowed me to recognize and keep loving Kaede, pronounced kah-eh-duh as the strong, compassionate, calm and tortured woman she had grown into, and appreciate the character growth since she made such enormous mistakes in the last book. I might have enjoyed her familiar way of speech instead of struggling to connect the witchy voice of this recording to the wise and poetic middle aged woman she ought to be.

Kaede is just one of many characters that were mistreated by this narrator. The Mioshi brothers (oh, yes, MEE-YOSH-EE, not my-osh-hi) are unrecognizable, Shigeko has become some kind of caricature, even the awesome Shizuka has been reduced to some fluttering old crone! Please never let this narrator portray women ever again! Or monks. Or young men with severe mental health challenges. Actually, just let the man go! Then do a new recording with those who read the other books, or at least someone with adequate linguistic and cultural experience.

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Deep into sorcery

Since I rely on reader reviews to decide whether or not to purchase a book, I thought I should help other readers by sharing my thoughts on this book. I loved the Otori series although I was disappointed with the ending of the Harsh Cry of the Heron. I was excited to try this new series, the Orphan Warriors, but found that this book involved a lot more hard sorcery. In the Otori series, the special skills of the tribe included invisibility, acute hearing, being able to produce a double image of oneself, and awesome fighting skills. In this series, the author delves into sticking pins into voodoo dolls to make them come alive, breathing life into inanimate objects, and calling people back from the dead. I felt very uncomfortable with these elements. The story line was weak and the ending was a let down. I will not be reading the rest of this series.

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Awesome Author! Love these books

Loved ALL of this author's books! Can't wait to hear more from her! aI love hearing about this time period in Japan.

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  • Kevin Glover
  • 10-18-21

Lian Hearn books never disappoint

Great book, great story, narrator was slightly disappointing, would have preferred to hear this read by Aiko Nakasone and Kevin Gray the same as the other Otori books, bit weird to hear beloved Japanese characters sounding like Jack the Ripper 😬
Once you get past that, the book is still wonderful