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The Harsh Cry of the Heron [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Lian Hearn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2007

‘Their realm is held in balance by their union . . . Break that union and the Three Countries will fall apart.’

Otori Takeo and Kaede have ruled the Three Countries peacefully for over sixteen years, following the events laid out in the epic Tales of the Otori. They have three daughters: Shigeko, fifteen years old and heir to the Otori, and Maya and Miki, thirteen-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 sixteen 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 . . .

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Frequently Bought Together

The Harsh Cry of the Heron + Heaven's Net is Wide (Tales of the Otori) + Brilliance of the Moon
Price For All Three: 18.09

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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: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,221 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


'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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning 26 Oct 2006
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 6 Jan 2007
By JSinger
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Piece of an Epic Tale 29 Oct 2006
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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DON'T PUT SPOILERS IN THE REVIEW SECTION!!! 9 Aug 2007
I haven't read this book yet and now may never do, as some unbelievably idiotic, dim, foolish person has revealed what is probably the most integral part of the ending of this book in this review section and even stated they didn't expect it, why ruin a surprise for everyone else!!!!!!!!! Whoever this was should consider the fact that amazon is a SHOP so in general people haven't read stuff they don't already own and probably don't know the ending before they've read it, or want too!! There are forums to discus the finer details, use them!!!!!
Sorry for those who wanted an actual review. I'm just very irritated as i loved the first three books and would most definitely recommend them. I probably will still read this book because i've got to complete the story even though it has been more than slightly ruined!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Dissapointing 15 Oct 2007
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent end to the otori tales
Gripping even though some passages are a little slow. Those are always followed by exciting ones which keep your interest high so you don't get tired of it. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Kickersfan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but rushed
Like many others, I read the series when I was younger, and coming back to it at a later date to find two more books had been published was a joy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linconclusive
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly this writer is one of my favourites.
I read the trilogy years ago starting with Nightingale Floor and loved them so much have recommended many times to friends. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sureya
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
One of the best series this book in particular I have ever read the plot dumbfounded me and I was almost in tears by the end
Published 8 months ago by bombmixx208
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly astounding
Amazing, as always. Could not put this book down.
A credit to lian Hearn.
Bring on the next tale of the prior.
Published 9 months ago by Jojo
5.0 out of 5 stars Harsh Cry
Looking forward to reading this installment in the Lian Hearn Tales of the Otori. Highly recommmended books - well worth a read
Published 12 months ago by Ms. S. N. D. Colwell
1.0 out of 5 stars Think twice before you read this
I loved the first 3 books, was totally absorbed by them. In fact, I loved this one, up until the last 4 chapters. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Inge
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fulfilment of Prophecy
Like many readers, it had been a few years since I'd last read a novel in the `Tales of the Otori' series and for me personally that period in between novels gave me a new... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2012 by Fantasy Lore
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing read
I was very disappointed with this book. I first read the trilogy many years ago and it has been one of my favourite series'. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I have just finished the Harsh Cry of the Heron, and wow!!! it was a brilliant if not poignant end to the tales of the Otori. Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2011 by Alex
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