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4.7 out of 5 stars39
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2004
After finishing the second in this amazing Trilogy I was desperate to find out about when the next would be due, and I can also remember trying to find it in March for my mothers birthday, only to find out it was going to be out at around November. And even ended up ordering it from the American Amazon. But I have to say that this book was truely worth waiting for and gave all I wanted as a great fan and a reader of the book.
The thrid in the trilogy starts off with Otori Takeo endeavouring to have his land returned to him, as he was the legal heir to the Otori clan, and being adopted by the well known Lord Shigeru. With his Wife, Lady Shirakawa Kaede by his side, and many loyal men that may have been nothing more than peasents and farmers, they strive to defeat the unloyal and those who stand in his way. Though things weren't going to be that easy. The words of the wise woman from book two still remain and haunt him, that he will fight battles, and lose one. His son will be his killer. But Takeo remains determined to avenge Lord Shigeru and help his Wife regain control of her country too.
This book offers many thrills, duplicity, excitment, tension and passion. It was also written with greatness and deserves all praise. It is worth buying and reading as many others have enjoyed what may seem as a work of art.
Steph Brown.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2005
The lian Hearn triology is amazing. I throughly enjoyed it even though i am not a young adult. The story was so descriptive and intense that i couldnt put the book down! It is a story unlike no other and def one to try.
I like all kinds of book so if you enjoy a book with a little history, good story, little romance and fighting with a twist of magic and fantasy this is the book for you! GIVE IT A TRY!!!
Also please if you have read it can you recommend any similar books. I feel a bit down as got nothing else to read :)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2004
If you enjoyed the other two books, then you'll like this third book too. Brilliance of the Moon completes the trilogy that follows Takeo and Kaede as they seek to reclaim their land and rights.
It has a gripping plot and a great use of different point of view. Shifting from Takeo to Kaede and back but in some ways it feels more of a continuation of book 2 than a complete book in its own right. This is perhaps both Takeo and Kaede have already goen through so much change, in both their emotional and physical make up that over coming the hurdles in front of them are a culmination of that change and don't require a further emotional journey.
There are great scenes, involving battles and adventures. Engaging characters from baddies (a giant with bones like stone), to allies (sea pirates) and the ever present Tribe, who have their own conflict to deal with. Takeo has to riase an army and fight five battles (Four battles to win and one to lose), Kaede has to deal with a powerful old lord and everyone has to decide on which side their loyalty lies.
There's a fair amount of blood, guts and love (so perhaps not suitable for the younger readers) but for a cracking story, it's hard to beat. I recommend it but read the first 2 books to begin with.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2004
This book (and the others in the trilogy) have to be some of my favourites. They are so well written and make you want to keep on reading forever!
I would recommend anyone to read these, adults or teenagers as they deserve to be read by millions of people everywhere
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If the first book was Takeo and Kaede being played by others, and the second was them making their own decisions, this book is all about the consequences of those actions.

Their biggest (and most rash) decision at the end of the last book was their marriage to each other, and we quickly see that the anger this has roused in their rivals will be one of the main conflicts of the book. Kaede's dealings with her neighbour, Lord Fujwara come around to bite her. He is the true villain of the trilogy: unsettling, cruel and yet all too human and familiar - everything, perhaps, Iida should have been in the first book.

Takeo is now led by the prophecy, interpreting events in his life through her words. He recognises as well that is just interpretation: the prophecy isn't really set as a concrete thing that is going to happen, more one that he can manipulate events to fit around. He decides a short skirmish with bandits is a battle, and that's one checked off his 'battles to win' list. His vendetta against the Tribe also shows the ruthlessness he has developed throughout the series, executing many members in case they try to assassinate him (this book contained some of the more grizzly deaths, including someone biting off their own tongue and choking to death on their blood...)

There is a lot more action than the last book, as can be expected when there are five battles to go ahead (four to win and one to lose). The majority of these are satisfying (especially the one he loses, increasing the distance between himself and Kaede) but I felt the final battle - the one you'd expect to be the biggest and baddest - was surprisingly brief. The betrayal of Arai was all too expected and the battle was over before it really began, which seemed a little anticlimactic.

Overall I enjoy the way it ends the trilogy, but only because I know there is a sequel to go on to. The third book leaves the question of Takeo's son open and I know I would not be satisfied not knowing whether his son eventually kills him or not. I'm not generally a fan of happy endings, but this one had just the right amount of bitter-sweetness to it: Kaede and Takeo are reunited but both scared by events and both have lost things very dear to them. But amidst that tragedy there is the the feeling of a fresh start just around the corner, which promises a better life for them from now on.

As an overall note on the trilogy, I have to say that, during this read, I sometimes found the prose somewhat strange. As writers, we are constantly being told the golden rule 'show don't tell' but this book seems to go against that entirely. That's not to say there isn't beautiful descriptions and interesting little details, as all books are full of them, but a lot of it does seem to be telling all the time rather than showing. I wouldn't let that put you off though: it's a beautiful, involving series and well worth the reading time.
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on 11 May 2009
For the third time I'm taken away with where Lian takes Kaede and Takeo's story. This installment is darker than the others, with more heartache, violence and turns in the plot I couldn't have predicted.

I do like the brief character list at the beginning of the book. It was there in book 2, but I forgot to comment on it. The map gives an idea of where everything takes place, although to be fair I often don't look at maps more than once.

There is no-one who escapes from all this. Takeo faces life without Kaede. He has to make decisions which go against what he believed the future to hold for him. He demonstrates great leadership skills. The tough decisions he makes would be hard for anyone to make, but he does so knowing sacrifices sometimes are the only way for life to improve.

Kaede accepts a terrifying fate to keep her loved ones safe. My poor tummy turned upside down when the action that changes her life here happened. If I hadn't peeked at the end of this book, and then the end of the fourth, more tissues would have been needed. I was a little disappointed, considering how much of her view there initially was in the book that there wasn't a chapter before the final one, explaining what happened after a liberating event. But then the overall story arc is mostly Takeo's, and not much needs explaining. I just love Kaede!

A newcomer to the POV telling is Shizuka. Previously a maid of Kaede's, and one of the Tribe who wish to kill Takeo, her viewpoint on events provides greater understanding for why the Tribe act as they do. And, she's definitely not a hardhearted woman.

The story isn't all doom and gloom, there are a few moments of peace, where the scenary and clothing (see? I'm totally obsessed with costumes in the Otori story) have my mind thirsting for me. From the limited knowledge of Japan I have through anime, japanese lessons and general knowledge, this series captures a great many of the unique customs of the island nation.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2004
The final installment in this gripping series, Kaede and Takeo are now married and wanting to claim Kaede's town, Marayama, that she is promised. This is a wonderful novel, where your emotions are played with and you feel as though you are really there in the novel. If you've read the other two Otori books, and liked them then you will love this one!!! I found this book one of the most brilliant that I have ever read, and would recommend it to any one interested in reading whether you are 10 or 40, its a book that can be read by any age. Go out and buy it, I promise you wont be disappointed!
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on 4 August 2011
Just finished the Otori Trilogy and each book is a marvel and gem in its own right. This one does not disappoint, and you find yourself ecstatic that Takeo and Kaede are now married, but almost waiting for the trouble to start. Read in a frenzy and finished in 2 days - addictive!!!
This one starts to set up the scenes for war, moving from the young couples love, to the chess game going on with the battle for the Three Countries. So many pawns being moved your intrigued to know how they will all play a part, and yet have no clue how it will come together-the plots are not obvious or easy to guess which is what i loved.
Find yourself loving the characters and hating the enemies, I would recommend to anyone! Buy buy buy!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Kevin Gray received plaudits for his readings of " Grass For His Pillow" and "Across The Nightingale Floor," Books One and Two in the Tales of the Otori Series. He delivers another blockbuster performance with the final book in the trilogy, "Brilliance of the Moon." His performing voice is soft yet strong, persuasive, almost lyrical. Aika Nakasone more than holds her own with the sable voiced Gray.
Now safely wed hero Otori Takeo and Shirikawa Kaeda take little time to honeymoon but he sets off to secure what he considers their birthrights. They remember the holy woman's prophecy: "Your lands will stretch from sea to sea, but peace comes at the price of bloodshed. Five battles will buy you peace, four to win and one to lose....."
However, their enemies are formidable as their marriage has infuriated warlord Arai Daiichi and Lord Fujiwara. He is able to emerge victorious in two battles but, meanwhile, he learns that his bride has been kidnaped and turned over to the vengeful Fujiwara.
Obstacles mount and actions escalates, holding listeners in thrall as this mystical tale of medieval Japan unfolds.
"Brilliance of the Moon" is first-rate entertainment leaving listeners hoping for just one more adventure.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2006
The `Otori Trilogy' is a completely unique set of modern fantasy stories, truly refreshing in every way (especially in comparison to some other clichéd examples of the genre around at the moment) and one that very rightly deserves to be remembered and even to grow in popularity in years to come. But despite the delicate and vivacious prose, moving character histories and a truly involving imagined world, the `Otori Trilogy' is one that I felt never quite touched me in the way that great fantasy always should. As I came to the end of `Brilliance of the Moon' I was satisfied, but not as deeply moved as I wished to be.

One of the unique attributes of Hearn's writing for me is that as I read I am constantly surprised by the choices the characters make, frequently appalled by the horrific acts of violence they visit upon each other and numbed by the deaths of characters whose lives are taken seemingly so needlessly, but for whom Hearn has invested so much into. But while the actions of Takeo, Kaede, Kenji and all the rest always came as a constant surprise to me, in comparison the plot is somewhat linear with few twists to the tale, relatively few complications to entertain the reader and little deviation from the prophecy that was previously laid out as Takeo's path to greatness. Although this is a minor quibble, I couldn't help but feel that it was the author's duty to make rules and then break them, to predict one thing and to deliver another, just often enough to keep the reader on his/her toes. But the lack of complication meant that I never became as invested in the lives of the characters as I hungered to be, because so much is delivered to the reader by Hearn almost exactly as he foretold us that it would in the previous two stories.

In particular, I found the first half of this book much too sluggish, which shouldn't be the case in the conclusion to a trilogy. It was only about half-way into the book that the story really started to get as engrossing for me, as I found the entirety of `Grass for his Pillow' to be, which is achieved with a twist that I did not see coming. But even so, considering this is the third part of a trilogy- there were only a handful of chapters that I raced through in order to find out all that would happen next while at the same time savouring every line, word and syllable of them for their gorgeously precise descriptions and evocative dialogue.

Truthfully, `Brilliance of the Moon' is not the epic conclusion I was hoping for, but I was never, ever disappointed by it, because there's so much to enjoy about this book that at times it can be overwhelming and for that reason I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to everyone who fell in love with `Across the Nightingale Floor' and `Grass for his Pillow' just as Takeo and Kaede did for one another as they journeyed side-by-side through the harsh landscape of the Three Counties. Magical.
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