The Harsh Cry of the Heron

Tales of the Otori, Book 4
Series: Tales of the Otori, Book 4
Length: 19 hrs and 56 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Set 15 years after the seismic events of Brilliance of the Moon, The Harsh Cry of the Heron is an elegiac and bittersweet successor to the best-selling series by Lian Hearn, Tales of the Otori.

Otori Takeo and Kaede have ruled the Three Countries peacefully for over 16 years, following the events laid out in the epic Tales of the Otori. They have three daughters: Shigeko, 15 years old and heir to the Otori, and Maya and Miki, 13-year-old twins who have inherited the supernatural skills of their father. Kaede knows nothing of the prophecy that Takeo will die at the hands of his son and longs to give him a male child. Nor does she know of the boy he fathered 16 years ago - a boy whose heart is filled with hatred and whose skills as a Ghostmaster give him the power to incite the dead.

Takeo is determined that clan conflicts will never again ravage the Three Countries, but warriors are born to fight: the warlord Arai Zenko has deadly ambitions, the Emperor himself has challenged Takeo's rule and, despite a delicate truce between the deadly Tribe and the Otori, revenge still eats at the heart of renegade leader Kikuta Akio....

Against these gathering threats, Takeo draws strength from his love for Kaede, but even this is not beyond the reach of their enemies....

©2006 HighBridge Audio (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Hearn writes with a delicate attention to detail that creates an all-encompassing world around her characters." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"A thrilling tale of love, violence, loyalty and betrayal, fast moving, set in a far-away country long ago." ( The Guardian)
" The Harsh Cry of the Heron was voted Number Five in the 'Our critics choice of the hottest tickets'." ( Independent on Sunday Top Fifty)
"The plot is gripping and the writing is beautiful, packed with authentic, atmospheric detail." ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about The Harsh Cry of the Heron

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Powerful, dramatic and touching

A tale of sheer wit delivers a punch of steal and love A worthy end to the tales of the Otory. This masterpiece takes you through the full range of emotions in a way that's both sharp and soft, full of suspense and surprise all the way to the inevitable climax.

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  • Michael
  • 09-25-17

Voicing my opinion

Let mer first point out that for the most part the narrators (Henri Lubatti & Julia Fletcher) did an excellent job. They told the story with passion and it was easy to follow along.
My two main issues were that Henri struggled with pronounciations and that Julia made every male character sound like the same one old pretentious nob.
I just wish it'd been done by Aiko Nakasone & Kevin Gray instead, as their performance in the original trilogy was flawless!

Storywise, this is a good sequel, but that's also the problem - you really feel it's a sequel, with the usual faults. The story isn't as engaging, some plots/twists are undeveloped, and the end actually feels rushed.

All this negativity aside though, it is a great story and well worth your time if you enjoyed the trilogy!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Bryce
  • 02-25-20

Excellent listen.

If you liked Across The Nightingale Floor saga then you will enjoy this instalment of the series. The plots widen and the story becomes much more epic in scope and dimension. Enjoy!

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  • Ross H
  • 04-25-19

Interesting addition ...

This was just as well-written as the first 3 but set many years after them and in some ways undid all of takeo and kaede’s hard work in the 1st 3, so i felt a little bit like it wouldve been a better ending if i had never read this book. Again, well written tho

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  • Nanou
  • 12-02-18

beautiful.

it started as good listening while I cleaned the boat. then then i found things to paint, but to fix until I just lay down on my bed and listened.