70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Harsh Cry of the Heron (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. =)