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The Harsh Cry of the Heron Paperback – Unabridged, 1 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Young Picador; Unabridged edition (1 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330449613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330449618
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lian Hearn studied modern languages at Oxford University and worked as a film critic and arts editor in London before settling in Australia. A lifelong interest in Japan led to the study of the Japanese language, many trips to Japan, and culminated in the Tales of the Otori series. The books in the series have been sold into 36 countries and have been world wide best sellers.

Product Description

Review

'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 -- 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Lord Otori Takeo and his consort Kaede have ruled for over sixteen years. The Three Countries are rich, peaceful and prosperous. The sacred birds, the houou, nest at Terayama and a fabled creature, the kirin, has appeared on their shores. Heaven seems to smile on them. Yet their very success has attracted the attention of the distant Emperor and his general, the warlord Saga Hideki, who covet all the wealth of the Three Countries, especially Takeo’s heir, his eldest daughter, Shigeko, now of marriageable age. At the same time the violent acts and betrayals of the past will not lie buried. The renegade Tribe family, the Kikuta, seek revenge on Takeo for the murder of their leader; they have an eager ally in his brother-in-law Arai Zenko, who has never been able to forget or forgive his own father’s shameful death. No one escapes the Tribe forever. Takeo has many other concerns, above all for his younger daughters, the twins Maya and Miki, whose strange talents lead them into the world of shadows and ghosts. And other secrets that cannot be kept hidden. Everything that he and Kaede have achieved is threatened. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By E. V. W. Laughton on 26 Oct 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved the first three of the Otori series, and I could not wait for this book to come out. It is set 16 years after the end of Brilliance of the Moon, when Takeo and Kaede have established peace and prosperity in the Three Countries. They have a 15 year old daughter called Shigeko, and 13 year old twin girls called Maya and Miki. However, the tranquility does not last as this book is all about the many problems which begin to besiege the Otori.

This book has all the elements which made the others great: searing medieval Japan, mystery and the supernatural Tribe, beautiful romance and sex, exciting plot twists. However, I felt it had a distinctly different tone from the others.

About half way through, i began to think it was not quite what I had been hoping for. But it was still gripping, and as I read it on it became terrbily exciting. In the last few chapters I began to foresee the end, and I realised that although the feel of the book is different to the first three, it has the same principles guiding it. Perhaps I would say that The Harsh Cry of the Heron is the 'yin' to the first three's 'yang'. It is certainly longer.

I was not at all disappointed when I finished it, and I am sure it will increase my enjoyment of the first books. At the very end, I found that it was almost unbearably sad, and actually cried which I rarely do for books. It broke my heart in many ways. I won't say exactly how as it will spoil it, but it was a thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful end to a poignant book.

And jolly good fun in the end, once you remember it's only a book!!

Definately I would encourage all fans of the first three, or fantasy, or epic romance, or Japan. It has something for everyone I suspect. =)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JSinger on 6 Jan 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had to wait until Christmas to get this book despite it coming out in September but it was worth it!!

Having loved all 3 previous Tales of the Otori books, I had high expectations and I can safely say I was not disappointed. With so many twists I was gripped from beginning to end, and once again Hearn's haunting writing style meant the mood could be instantly changed and a wide range of emotions were felt. This book is stunning, in every sense of the word and the unexpected plot left me feeling shocked and saddened at the end, however inevitable it was.

I honestly cannot praise this book enough, in my mind it has become a modernday classic that is nowhere near appreciated as much as it should be.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MCW on 29 Oct 2006
Format: Hardcover
For an introduction to the books read the synopsis and not my review!

For an opinion of this book read on!

Okay, I Started the books at about 12 (I think) and since the present day I have not enjoyed another book more than this. The author Lian Hearn has devoted herself to the writings of these books and she has conquered the detail of all her books to the highest level. I am 14 now.

Not once do you find a boring or dull page in this series and I hope all you readers buy the books, and hopefully, enjoy them as much as I have.

10/10 In every Way!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Narrow Ruled A4 Refil Pad on 15 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed the first 'Tales of The Otori' trilogy, and when the 'The Harsh Cry of the Heron' came out I must say that I was a little dissapointed that Lian Hearn wanted to make another (i never think it's good to make more after a trilogy), however I bought it anyway because I thought it would still be as good as the first too.
And it is, in a way, it has some really nice interesting moments. However compared to the others (which i would give a hearty 4.5 stars) it just doesnt match up to their standard. It just feels too much like it's been made to cash in. Takeo (the main character) goes on about his happy life, and how much he likes Kaede almost to the point where you just want to say 'okay okay i'm glad you're happy, but stop dwelling on it'. Also, the book doesn't really kick off properly until about halfway.
Another thing I wasn't so happy about was that I feel that there are too many main characters, and that Lian Hearn hasn't really developed some of them as much as she could, or developed their relationships properly. It fact, I almost think that Takeo's character has almost deteriorated slightly.
I think it would be better if the whole book was compressed to about 400 pages, because that would make it a much more action packed 'on-your-toes' read.
However... it gets about 3 stars because, hey, it's not as bad as her first books, but at least it's not Enid Blyton or any other similar shizzle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
As ever, the style of the writing took me to a land full of betrayal, fighting and sorrow. This book was by far the darker of the 4 books. The ending is satisfactory, not necessarily a HEA, but for those who read the previous three books knew there would be sorrow here.

The story is tied up well. Both old characters (Kaede, Takeo) and relatively new ones (his children - all of them) have their stories in a way that lets me access their characters on a deeper level than when they were mentioned by a different point of view. Lots of female POV's for this reviewer!

I do have several small gripes. Initially, (for about 60 pages), I felt a lot of back story was told. I feel this back story, filling in around 16 years from the last book, could have merited a novel of its own. Considering that Takeo's daughters, the twins Maya and Miki, and their elder sister Shigeko have a significant role in this book, having a book before it to introduce their characters and how they came to be who they are would have cut the feeling of being 'told' events.

I did like the level of darkness surrounding the twin's tale. There are several story twists which I won't put here, but my spine shivered in several places where Lian guided the story. Almost verging on the horror genre for me.

Concepts that were touched upon in other books were depicted in more detail, that was too much for me. I only read on because I wanted to learn of the end. I can possibly see why the content was put in, although there were a few points that I felt the imagination was quite capable of filling in the blanks. If you're looking for a PG book, this isn't one. It deals with adult situations, and a variety of relationships.
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