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Heaven's Net is Wide (Tales of the Otori) Paperback – September 2, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
However, his lessons were also tempered as an adolescent when he observed how dishonorable some behaved; seditious backstabbing by his uncles and an assault from the Iida family to gain power. The culmination occurs when his uncles' perfidy and the Iida betrayal lead to the deaths of thousands of Otori warriors at Yaeahara and the eradication of his family. He lives, but is heir to nothing as the Otori clan was exterminated. Although those who murdered his family want him dead so he symbolizes nothing, Shigeru survives with an inner fortitude made stronger with what he saw enhanced by a desire for retribution. He turns to his former mentor warrior-monk Matsuda Shingen for guidance and patience, and meets Lady Maruyama who keeps him human and more as she knows what he is going through as the Tohan destroyed much of what she held sacred. However, the hope for retribution might begin in a mountainous village ...
The fifth Tales of the Otori is a brilliant novel that brings the beginning and the end to this great saga of Medieval Japan. The story line is a superb historical fantasy as the audience learns much of how Otori got to where he ends. Fans of the series will fully appreciate this great finish that is also the beginning as HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE completes this non-linear epic saga with a sweeping winner.
Lian Hearn's "Heaven's Net is Wide" defies that generalization. Hearn has written a novel of strength and beauty, loss and betrayal, love and hope. This novel lays the foundation for her enjoyable "Tales of the Otori" series.
The greatest strength of this novel is that it focuses on Lord Shigeru, young heir of the noble house of Otori. Lord Shigeru is the man who discovers young Takeo, the hero of the later novels, but while Shigeru casts a large shadow over the later books, he's not much of a direct actor (for obvious reasons). So this novel focuses on this valiant, tortured, stoic young man as he struggles to save his house and his realm from destruction.
It is also a novel about love, as the poignant affair between Lord Shigeru and the beautiful Lady Naomi of Murayama blossoms into full-fledged adoration.
Readers of the Otori series will have probably already read this book. If you haven't yet picked up this series, this novel is an excellent place to start, as Hearn lays a terrific foundation for her later work.
One of the things I didn't like is that there's too much drawn in black and white. Shigeru has no visible flaws. Most of the "good" people have some fatal weaknesses, such as impetuosity. Shigeru's father, the head of the clan, seems impossibly weak. Shigeru's uncles are among the "bad" people, and I cannot recall any of the bad people who has any kind of redeeming good fault. There's no need to make this kind of delineation in a novel. Tony Soprano and Flashman are much more appealing and interesting because of their character flaws. Mother Teresa, recently in the news, had a serious crisis of faith--and she's more human for it. Bad people need not be 100% evil to be good villains. Shigeru is the top swordsman in the Three Countries--it wouldn't have hurt to have made him good, but not number 1--then the problem for him would have been how to deal with swordsmen better than he was. That would have made things a lot more interesting.
So--for those who liked Across the Nightingale Floor, a decent prequel.
This last installment of The Otori Series is just as wonderful as the other four books. You become as attached to the characters as a reader can be, and I suggest you buy it! It's an honest to God, not cheesy in the least, Samurai Vrs. Ninja story! I have deeply enjoyed this series and I intend to make everyone I know give the book a try!
I've read the series at least 3 times now and I love it...I'm constantly checking for more of this type/style/world/character from this artist
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Part of a trilogy. I loved the story. I read through all 4 books. It is a trilogy but there is a prequel.Published 1 month ago by Sandy Goodman
An interesting story let down by the writing. I ended up dropping the series because I couldn't take any more of the author telling me the ending of a situation before it began.Published 3 months ago by Dominic Stevens
Most Prequels I've read weren't very good reads this one is excellent! I definitely recommend it. I don't want this series to end.Published 10 months ago by Wils Murphy
Heaven's Net is Wide is a prequel to Lian Hearn's four other Tales of the Otori. It is the weakest of the five books. Read morePublished 12 months ago by J. Laurence
I loved this series - bought all the books for my kindle. After reading through it entirely, I'm giving it a rest but will likely read it again soon. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Cec
I don't give the 5 stars rating just because the book came with some minor flaws in the cover. It looks like it was a used one while the product specifies that it is new. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Aris