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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: At the heart of Lian Hearn's beautiful saga of samurai, enchantment, and passion in feudal Japan is the story of two ill-fated lovers, brought to poignant life with the dual performances of Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone. Trading chapters as their stories intertwine, Gray and Nakasone anchor the action with their alternating voices, underscoring the very personal stakes amidst the epic tale of feuding warlords. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

Sixteen-year-old Takeo's village has been massacred by an evil warlord, and he is about to be slain by the men who murdered his parents and neighbors. At the last moment, his life is saved by a nobleman, who claims the boy as his kin and begins his education.

But nothing is as it seems. Takeo discovers that he has rare powers that are useful to those around him. As he grows into manhood, he must decide where his loyalties lie: with his noble master and adoptive father; with the Hidden, a secret, spiritual sect whose beliefs are forbidden; or with the Tribe, the assassins and spies who consider him one of their own.

A story of treachery, political intrigue, and the intensity of first love, set in a world ruled by formal ritual and codes of honor, Across the Nighingale Floor crosses genres, generations, and genders to captivate fans of all ages.

Don't miss the rest of the Tales of the Otori series.
©2002 Lian Hearn; (P) 2003 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"The novel fills a unique niche that is at once period piece and fantasy novel." (Amazon.com)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,588
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  • 3 Stars
    1,007
  • 2 Stars
    292
  • 1 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    1,739
  • 4 Stars
    1,071
  • 3 Stars
    394
  • 2 Stars
    85
  • 1 Stars
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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    150
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    60
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  • Overall

Painful reading

I tried to endure by listening while I was working. I just can't handle the readers voice. This is the second book I have purchased with this reader. The first was Heaven's Prisoners. Regardless of the book I will make it a point to skip this reader. People on 'ludes should not read books to people not on 'ludes.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Across the Nightingale

All 3 books are very enjoyable

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unimaginative, with a horrible narrator

Unfortunately I can't recommend this book due to its rediculous predictability. Also, the narration is broken up between two narrators due to the fact that there are to pov's in this book. This is not only jarring, but the female narrator's narration is so bad as to be unbearable. I've often been tempted to skip these sections entirely... oh well, on to the next audiobook. I suppose I can't rely as heavily on the ratings in the future.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Egor
  • GREENSBORO, NC, United States
  • 08-29-12

Interesting idea, great story...meh narration.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Across the Nightingale Floor?

Takeo's crazy journey into the castle to end the suffering of the hidden people in the cages.

What three words best describe Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone ’s voice?

Kevin's voice was clear, concise and convincing. He really felt like he had lived the story that he was telling. I preferred having sped up his narrations a touch, but otherwise, no complaints. <br/><br/>Aiko...not so much. Her voice had that "I'm telling an obvious lie in a way that you can tell that I am" tone to it, which made it really awkward to listen to.

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

Perhaps not extreme, but I was well surprised with how this book turned out. Other than maybe having over-done it some on the "romance" parts... The story turned out to be gripping and thrilling and I'm gonna be picking up the second book as soon as I get a new credit. <br/><br/>In short... Damn good story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

In Another Time, Another Place

Where does Across the Nightingale Floor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Perhaps in the middle of the scale.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Across the Nightingale Floor?

When the two women bonded when they spoke alone near the end of the book where the pregnancy was revealed.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone – was your favorite?

The lead character's voices. They both narrated very well.

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

No. It did not seem a book to bring out extreme reactions.

Any additional comments?

I am very interested to read more in this series--to see where they are going with this story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Female Narrator Reads too Slowly

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is my first review and the only reason I am submitting it is because this narration has pushed me to the polar limit of my patience. The female narrator is absolutely abysmal. She reads at the pace of a simpleton, and pronounces her words like this is her third language. I set her to read a 2x normal speed because it aggravates me to listen to her. I feel like I have to pull the words out of her. The story is good, but she is a huge distraction. Beware...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Really Disappointed

I love Japan and given the reviews I was ready (and I really wanted) to love this book. I could not. There were times I cringed at the word choice and more often than not at both narrators. Part of this may be due to the fact that I listened to it almost immediately after I finished listening to The Potato Factory, which is perhaps a very unfair comparison. I bought it on sale for 4.95 and I am glad I did not pay more or waste a monthly credit.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

got 3/4's of the way through and quit

Overall the story was sub par and I didn't care for the characters, the story felt scattered and the voice acting was accurate but I got tired of it very quickly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • NEW ORLEANS, LA, United States
  • 02-23-12

Starts out all right, gets worse as it goes along.

What would have made Across the Nightingale Floor better?

Less ridiculously formal language. Also, the character motivations made no sense at all, particularly toward the end of the book--their reactions to everything just seemed contrived so that Hearn could get to the ending he wanted.

What was most disappointing about Lian Hearn’s story?

The major plot points made no logical sense.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone ’s performances?

Kevin Gray, maybe. He didn't seem so bad except that the excessively formal language used by the author was painful to listen to. Aiko Nakasone, definitely not. She conveyed no personality at all in her characters.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Across the Nightingale Floor?

The entire second half of the book, particularly all the eyeroll-inducing similes used to describe Takeo and Kaede's teenage love for each other.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Julie
  • Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 01-28-12

Don't understand the rave reviews

I purchased this book based on the rave reviews, and now, after several hours of listening, I finally turned it off in disgust. The narrator (male) is monotone, yet the narration is oddly fast. I've checked several times to see if I had inadvertently set my ipod to 2x narration speed, but nope, it's 1x. The combo of the monotone, rushed narration, and lack of an interesting story, just frustrated me. I've given up. And I can usually listen to anything - no matter how bad, I find a way to enjoy it. Not this. Just not my cup of tea, I guess.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful