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4.6 out of 5 stars59
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 June 2004
I got the first book out of the library and I was in tears at the end of it. This book is even better and at some points it has you hanging onto every word. It is impossible not to get caught up in Lian Hearn's imaginary world. You almost feel that it is real and the feelings that the characters have become your own. However, this story is just about Takeo and Kaede it also adresses many issues about religion, class, and the roles of men and women. I think that it is really good that Kaede is trying to make it as a woman in a world of men. I can't wait to get the next book. I would recommend this book to everyone as it can appeal to everyone. I'd like to thank Lian Hearn for such a great book.
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on 2 November 2003
This is one of those fantatic books where you can feel the story coming to life right in your hands. The second installment in the Otori series is just as exciting as the first (Across the Nightingale Floor). If the first book gripped you as much as it did me, you won't be able to put this one down for a second.
With lots of twists and turns, the story never loses its pace. In this book the Tribe are as cruel as ever, and Takeo doesn't like it. This book is about honour and trust, friendship and loyalty, power and betrayal.
One of the reasons that I loved this book was because it felt very real, although set in an imaginary world and time. When reading the book, the characters feelings were described so well that you felt that you were there with them. The story combines all kinds of elements - for example there is war and fighting, but at the other extreme a crucial part of the story is about love and peace (and how to make it).
One of the the best books ever - a modern classic.
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on 5 May 2004
Having seen a copy of this novel at WH Smith, I decided to take a look at the back, and glad I am indeed! Having purchased a copy, it was only then that I realised that it was the second in a series.
However, I did not let that deter me, and this is where the beauty of this tale lies - all relevant information is supplied, making it an enjoyable read nonetheless. I sat down to read it and was finished that same night, simply because of the beautiful language used throughout. The language isn't the only thing to note though, the plot itself is intricate (I look forward to the third book), and the original ideas keep one hooked to every word. The atmosphere in the novel is as authentic as I can imagine it to be.
Having never heard of Hearn before, I'm glad to have made the purchase and am now a fan!
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on 22 April 2004
When I was bought 'Across the Nightingale floor' a few years ago, i thoroughly enjoyed it, and couldn't wait for the next to come out. I was not disappointed! In the mysterious mountains and forests of an ancient Japanese land, two compelling characters fight for survival in a world of cruel, powerhungry warlords. There names are Takeo and Kaede, and both have problems that they must learn to fight in order to win back the land and power that they should have. The plot is complex and thrilling, and there seem to be no boudaries for the author, with unexpected twists and turns that keep you really hooked. I cannot wait for the concluding sequel, only I don't want that to be the last one, as I wish Takeo and Keade's adventures to continue forever more! Really superb book, really superb.
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on 21 April 2004
This is the second novel in the tales of the Otori trilogy, and it is justas exciting and intriguing as the first!
The story follows Takeo, a young man with extraordinary talents and manydifficult decisions to make. In a realm that is supposedly not Japan, butan awful lot like it, this man must decide how to live his life; to usehis powers of stealth and hearing to become one of his tribes most usefulassassins, or to marry the woman he loves, starting a new adventure and anew life.
All the way through this book I was gripped. I haven't read abook in a long time that kept me reading the way this did. That's the onlyproblem with trilogies; waiting for the final installment is killingme!!
On the whole, I recommend this book to anyone with a passion for thrillingand adventurous lover stories, or with an interest in Japan (but, let'snot forget, this trilogy is only loosely based on Japan.)
A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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on 15 October 2004
I first picked the second book up by impulse one lunchtime in town. It was the front cover that first attracted me.
The first, was beautiful, esquisite and compulsive and the second was no different. There is a calmness in the writing style but you are still on he edge of your seat. When I finished reading this book, like the first, I fell back into the sofa and was completely taken away by what I had read.
The second is the story of Taeko and Kaede, you see the characters growing and you feel the magic expanding gently some more. It is a book well worth reading.
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on 12 June 2005
This book was even better than the first one! This is the sequel to - across the nightingale floor. This book starts with Takeo - the hero leaving his lover- shirakawa kaede, to join the tribe who have claimed him as theirs through his birthright, but is it what takeo really wants?? Find out and READ THIS BOOK!!!!Meanwhile Kaede intends to claim what is rightfully hers- the kingdom of maruyama which lady naomi, now dead, revealed to kaede that she was the next in line for the kingdom. It is a hard path for both of them. And, what prophecy??
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2005
This is the second of Hearn's 'Tales of the Otori' series and picks up from where Across a Nightingale Floor left off. Based loosely on feudal Japan with strong elements of the samurai and the tenets of honour and faith this is beautifully crafted lyrical prose with a hint of mysticism.
The protagonist is Takeo, a young mountain boy raised in a secret and now persecuted faith, who was rescued and adopted by his mentor figure Lord Otori. Takeo is special in that his true heritage is of the Tribe a mystical shadowy sect of ninja like assasins who are mercenaries for hire.
In this installment Takeo must leave the beautiful Keadre whom he loves, as he is deeply embroilled in the court intrigues that came to pass after the cruel warlord was slain. The star crossed lovers spend the majority of the book apart and the format switches between their perspectives. Kaedre is finally reunited with her family who are in dire financial states and she must use all of her feminine cunning to regain the power they will need to survive.
Takeo is forced by a promise he made to his relatives in the Tribe to rejoin them although he deplores their lack of honour. His spiritual journey continues as they concentrate on training him in their own codes and methods intending on using him to ensure that the Tribe will have a place with whoever survives the bloody war that rages through the land.
Of the two interlinking plots I found Kaede's to be the more interesting as we learn more of the gender politics in Hearn's universe. Kaede shows surprising strength in this installment and becomes a more rounded character for it. The joy of this novel is in watching how both the young protagonists make choices to survive, and how fate seemingly pulls them inexonarably back together.
This is a must have for both adults and young teens; it is in parts a spiritual quest, gripping adventure, packed with political intrigue, and at heart a tender love story. A keeper by any standards, and I wait with bated breath for the final installment Brilliance of the Moon.
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on 8 October 2003
Lian Hearn is back and she has topped her last book with this beautiful yet dark tale of the Otori. It is a time of change, not only for the land but for the lead characters; Takeo and Kaede. Takeo's three paths tug at him in this book in a truly rich and satisfying way, evoking empathy and distress from the reader. Hearn makes us wince as Takeo's brutal training is described and cackle with glee as he retains his "special" qualities. Kaede's character develops enormously, she is now on her own in the world, her beauty still causing the death of many men. The reader becomes caught up in her stuggle to gain authority and to keep it.
I thought it was not possible to better Across the nightingale floor but Lian Hearn has proven me wrong. With the same descriptive imagery as the first book, grass for his pillow continues this ground breaking trilogy and leaves the reader begging for more.
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on 3 November 2004
If you thought Philip Pullman's overrated trilogy was an ideal tale for young adults, read Lian Hearn and think twice. This is so much more mature and so much better realized. This is the right book to give to any young person on the cusp of reading adsult literature. Indeed, I believe Hearn is published in both children's and adult editions, with the text the same. She plays a clever trick, writing about what feels entirely like a real historical Japan, yet setting the action on a great island that bears no geographical or historical resemblance to it. The reality (which is often very harsh) is well balanced by the careful elements of fantasy (which has none of Pullman's silliness). The three books that make up the trilogy will keep anyone reading well into the night.
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