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Publisher's Summary

An epic fantasy set in a mythical, medieval Japan, Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series has crossed genres, generations, and genders. Grand and complex in its themes, elegantly written, each book in the original trilogy has become a worldwide best seller. This surprise fourth installment (and real conclusion), The Harsh Cry of the Heron, achieves new heights of drama and action.

16 years of peace and prosperity have passed since Lord Otori Takeo united the Three Countries. Takeo and his beloved consort, Kaede, have three daughters and a happy family life. Their success has attracted the attention of the distant Emperor and his general, the warlord Saga Hideki, who covet the wealth of the Countries. Meanwhile, the violent acts and betrayals of the past will not lie buried, and other secrets will not stay hidden. Everything that Takeo and Kaede have achieved is threatened.

In full ninja versus samurai fashion, Hearn delivers a kinetic, heartbreaking, and uplifting resolution to a thoroughly gripping saga.

Don't miss the rest of the Tales of the Otori series.
©2006 Lian Hearn; (P)2006 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Seizes you from start to finish." (The Washington Post)
"Hearn seamlessly fuses fact and fantasy to create a sprawling, bewitching realm of magic." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Otori saga gets better with each book, and this is the most absorbing entry in the series, complete with intrigue, magic, romance, and action. A perfect final chapter." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    55
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    35

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    67
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    20
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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not crazy about the narrator. I was excited to h

I was excited to hear John Lee's voice at the start, them disappointed that he only did the intro

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Beautifully done!

The tail well told. Imagery, voice and tempo appreciate. This is an engrossing tale like non I have read or listened to before.

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Final Tale

I have been an avid Lian Hearn fan since discovering the first "Tales" in a discount store book bin. It was an auspicious purchase. I find her writing fascinating. I have also found the audio versions totally engrossing. Unfortunately, the narrator's of the original trilogy were changed for this final book. These narrators were good, but just not as engaging as the originals had been. I tried to judge them on their own merit, however, the male narrator sounded proverbially bored. Irregardless, I am sorry the tale has ended.

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Disappointing end to a fantastic series

The first three books drew me in, but this one, not so much. All of the characters that were so warm and enlightened became flat and cold.

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Best of the series

Of the books in the tales of the otori series. I found this to be the most compelling.

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Sorry that the readers were changed

What made the experience of listening to Harsh Cry of the Heron the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the continuations of the characters, however I think mainly due to the different readers I almost don't recognize the characters and have a difficult time with it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I'm experiencing a disassociation with the characters because of the readers, this has never happened to me before. This is the fourth book in the series, I don't think I would have read more than a part of the first book (and no sequels) with Julia Fletcher. I don't think I would have gotten used to the readers.

What didn’t you like about Julia Fletcher and Henri Lubatti ’s performance?

Julia Fletcher may be an excellent reader for another book, however her attempts to put Japanese cadence into the readings really grates. I am not sure if I will be able to finish listening to the story, it is that bad. Aiko Nakasone was perfect for the story, as well as Kevin Gray.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I had wanted to listen to the book so badly and was looking forward to the continuation of the story, however because of the readers I don't think I will be able to finish it. I have listened to about 3 hours worth.

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Great series.

I loved these series of 5 books. Not what I'd expect to like but they were engaging. Did not like the female reader of this title at all tho. How about using someone Japanese and younger like in the original trilogy?

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Well it ended...

I feel like the story came full circle. It ended with a few loose ends still hanging. Nothing wrong with the narrators in this book, but I prefer the ones from the 1st 2 books. By the 3rd book I was use to the characters voices, changing it up kind of ruined it a bit for me.

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  • Sinton
  • Altadena, CA, United States
  • 08-29-15

Harsh cry. One of wonder

This last book of the tales of the Otori is as dramatic and multi faceted as one could want. Fortunately there is the prequel to follow and more than worth it. A wonderful turn after the dramatic Harsh Cry. And then you can begin all over again

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Sad

I have enjoyed the series so much. The story was a real letdown. The female characters or not believable. Like the previous readers much better also.