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Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori Book One (Tales of the Otori, Book 1) Audio CD – Unabridged, July 18, 2002
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Hearn sets his tale in an imaginary realm that is and isn't feudal Japan. This device serves the author well as he is able to play with familiar archetypes--samurai, Shogun, and ninja--without falling prey to the pitfalls of history. The novel fills a unique niche that is at once period piece and fantasy novel. Hearn unfolds the tale of Takeo and the conflicting forces around him in a deliberate manner that leads to a satisfying conclusion and sets the stage for the rest of the series. --Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Teenage Tomasu lives in a remote mountain village among a people called "The Hidden" who are a secretive and persecuted caste. One night his village is massacred by the chief warlord, Iida. Tomasu pulls a trick and escapes into the mountains and is saved by another warrior lord, Otori Shigeru. Otori takes Tomasu in as his son, renames him Takeo, and the young man begins to learn the way of the warrior. It soon becomes apparent that he possesses the skills of the assassin class known as "The Tribe" which include superior hearing, stealth, invisibility and the ability to leave a "second self" behind. Later, he learns to put people to sleep.
Meanwhile, a second plot told in the third person involves Kaede, a young woman who is the daughter of a lord but held hostage to keep her family from considering an uprising. The warlords are to use Kaede as a pawn in an arranged marriage with Otori. Things get complicated because of a certain Lady Maruyama, and then Takeo's feelings toward Kaede. A little Shakespearean tragedy within a Japanese setting makes for plenty of intrigue.
Takeo makes an interesting and likable protagonist, and I found myself cheering for him and all the challenges he had to face. The side characters were also colorful, with heroic Otori Shigeru, the mysterious teacher Kenji, the doomed Lady Maruyama, jinxed Kaede, and more. You know some of them will play larger roles in the following two books.
I wondered about this book being a young adult novel, because while the language and sentence construction read fairly simply, there is graphic violence and some sex that should be for a more mature audience.Read more ›
The writing is exceptional, with very few words out of place. Smooth and easy to read, the author's style is generous enough to paint the characters and scenery very well, yet clipped enough to keep the plot moving along at a steady pace. Importantly, there are no slow patches!
The book does not flinch from adult content and is certainly a mature read. It appears pitched at an adult and young adult audience simultaneously. There are numerous deaths - several beheadings, torture, cruelty and other violence. All, however, are within context and not out of place.
The strong story, appealing characters and Japanesesque setting combine incredibly strongly within Across The Nightingale Floor to produce a highly readable book that should appeal to many different-aged readers.
I picked this book up on a whim and read four pages in and was hooked. It grabs a hold of you and you can't put it down. Not only are the characters great, with all kinds of individual plots, they all contribute to they main plot of the book. The young boy, Takeo, is taken under the protection of Lord Otori, a leader of one of the clans in Japan. Takeo joins Lord Otori after a rival clan kills his parents. From the second Takeo runs into Lord Otori in the woods the action doesn't stop. With all the twists and individual plots the end of this book leaves you wanting more. This book is also a surprisingly easy read, most of the books that I've read that are set in this time are usually hard to follow, but this book is well written and even with all the Japanese terms its easy to follow and a great read.
I highly recommend this book, not only to fans of fantasy, but also to anyone who wants to read a good book. This is one of the best books I've ever read and I am anxiously waiting for the rest of the trilogy.
But amidst the piles and piles of rubble, sometimes you find that rose of exceptional beauty. And "Across the Nightingale Floor" is that rose. It's vastly different than the usual run-of-the-mill fantasy novels, unique even.
The setting of the book takes place in a mythical Japanese-like society, though it's not a direct allusion to actual history, and it features a smattering of magic. It's a coming of age story, but not in the usual Robert Jordan type of way. Perhaps the best way to describe it is as a recipe: Take the majestic backdrop of "Shogun", mix it with the cool assassin factor of Stoover's brilliant "Hero's Die", imbue it with the oriental mysticism of Eric Lustbader's "Ninja", then toss in a fabulous plot, superlative characterization, a good dose of pathos, a chunk of romance and you have what I consider to be one of the best books, ever.
If you have read "A Song of Fire of Ice" fifteen times, spun through the "Wheel of Time" more times than Nynaeve pulls her braid, consumed every Hobb novel, then give this book a shot; it won't disappoint.
It's a sweeping epic of love, betrayal, loyalty, magic, and a high quest for revenge, and so damn fine a read you will want to lick the cover when you're done. I HIGHLY recommend you check this book out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I finished this book and immediately bought the next one in the series. That is a good recommendation for these books. Read them.Published 8 days ago by pbirch999
A complete view of feudal Japan which I thoroughly enjoyed. Attention to detail was excellent.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great Story. Listened to the audiobook many years ago and looking forward to reading it this time.Published 1 month ago by James Esposito
This is a great book. It really kept my interest, I had a hard time putting it down. I can't wait to read the next one. I highly recommend this book.Published 2 months ago by Jo Ann
I had just started and was unable to finish a similar book in an imaginary China. This was superior. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David H. Eisenberg
I would never have gotten this for myself. But, someone knows my interest in classical through Shogunate Japanese culture, and thought it might appeal. Read morePublished 4 months ago by wiredweird
As the blurb suggests the book is set in medieval Japan where clans are battling for power. Takeo is thrown into the action when his village is overthrown and destroyed by the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lizzy from My Little Book Blog
I love this series! I am so happy I found it. I love the plot and the characters!Published 5 months ago by Raina Scott