- Series: Tales of the Otori (Book 2)
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594480036
- ISBN-13: 978-1594480034
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 118 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori, Book 2) Reprint Edition
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”A welcome sequel...deliciously readable. In this new volume, we find ourselves once again transported to a medieval Japan of the imagination: a harsh land ruled by local warlords, an essentially static social order in which family ties bind tightly, a culture that mixes great refinement with unspeakable brutality...Reads like a fine translation from the Japanese.”—The New York Times Book Review
”This is the second installment in Hearn’s trilogy and astonishingly it’s even better than volume one...the emotional power of the story is vastly magnified. Time and destiny are almost tangible in the novel...The beauty, savagery and strangeness of Hearn’s gripping tale is heightened by her exquisite, crystalline prose.”—The Independent (UK)
About the Author
Lian Hearn is the pseudonym for the writer Gillian Rubinstein, currently living in Australia, who has a lifelong interest in Japan, has lived there, and speaks Japanese. All five books in the Tales of the Otori series—Across the Nightingale Floor, Grass for His Pillow, Brilliance of the Moon, The Harsh Cry of the Heron, and Heaven's Net is Wide—are available now from Riverhead Books. Don't miss the related series, The Tale of Shikanoko.
Top customer reviews
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This was a fitting second book for this series. It moved along at the steady, descriptive pace of the second book. Although for some reason I found myself getting bored while reading this book. The lush descriptions, while detailed, didn't bring the book to life in the way I hoped they would. I had a little trouble understanding some of the stupid decisions made by Kaede and Takeo along the way. Despite these misgivings, if you liked the first book you must read the second book. It is very much in the same style of the first book and continues the story of Kaede and Takeo. This book definitely builds to a climax preparing you for the war and conflict of the third novel.
1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; a total waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good; what writing should be
5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others
STORY: From back cover: "Takeo has now been claimed by the Tribe; held by them against his will, he is condemned to work as an assassin. Meanwhile, Shirakawa Kaede must try to unify the domain she has inherited, while fighting off would-be suitors and hoping that Takeo will return to her."
1) You don't really need to read the first book to understand this story because the author does enough reflection and backstory to get a reader up to speed. BUT...it is so much better if you do read Across the Nightingale Floor first.
2) The characters of Takeo and Kaede are explored more and we as readers continue our bond and love for them. Kaede plays a much larger role in this book than the first.
3) This second/middle book doesn't seem to suffer from middle-book syndrome but continues with the same strength as the first. The first book resolved enough without having to read this book, but this book definitely sets the stage for interesting events to happen in the 3rd book.
Very little is resolved in this book. This book was truly the rising action of the series making you feel that the climax is just around the corner and me as a reader anxious to get there.
4) The same actors come back to this book to do the voices in this unabridged representation of the book. The acting is very well done and enjoyable throughout.
OVERALL: Fantastic continuation. I can't wait till the end of the trilogy!
Part of it was due to the overall intended atmosphere of the book. It is winter and everything slows to a halt--with only plans being made for when the snow clears and major campaigns can now be fought. Part is due to the mysterious Tribe--Takeo is amongst them, but only interacts with a few lower-members, whose relationships with him don't change much. And surprisingly little is revealed about them--save that what we have guessed or learned from the first book. I wanted a bit more of a climatic arc to be had with that part of the story, but it was not to be.
However, the world remains beautifully, even sublimely rendered. And there is that subtle tension that underlies the events, which pulls the reader along. I greatly enjoyed the first book and am content with this, the second book, and wait eagerly for the conclusion to this compelling tale.