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Across the Nightingale Floor, Episode 1: The Sword of the Warrior (Tales of the Otori)

(Part of the Tales of the Otori Series)

Seventeen-year-old Tomasu lives in a remote mountain village, some of whose residents—including his mother—are members of the Hidden, a clandestine, peaceful religious sect. He has never met his... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

Condition: Acceptable

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Loved it

It exceeded my expectations. I love books set in a feudal Japanese context and this evokes the period wonderfully although it features an intriguing fantasy element. A wonderful find and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Fantastic start!

The book opens with Takeo talking about his mother, and his life in the village he called home. Little time passes before Lord Iida Sadamu oh the Tohan and attacks the peaceful village of the Hidden, slaughtering it's people.Takeo, the soul survivor runs for his life and is saved by Otori Shigeru who takes him in. It is easy to be swept away by the story that takes place in long ago Feudal Japan. Lian vividly describes the beauty of the land. The characters are strong, willed people who are brought to life with great traditional story telling. The entire series is fast moving, taking you from when Takeo was just a boy who knew little about the art of fighting, to fulfilling a prophecy spoken of by a blind woman. This is a terrific book to read on a rainy day. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys vivid scenes.

A historical novel with imagination

This novel was an utter delight to read, in my opinion. The characters, while stioc, were believable for the culture the author emulated. The subtlety of the political sparing and planning was excelent and I felt the sharp difference between the emotions felt by teh characters and what they showed in thier actions and words were portrayed quite well. The classic peasant hero figure, found in Takeo, is a universal symbol and is made especially poigniant in the context of the feudal society he is set in. The truely intruiging aspect to me was his conection to the Tribe, a form of outsider class that is both respected for it's abilities and reviled for it's lack of adherance to political mores of society. It made for a wonderful internal conflict with in Takeo that was mirrored beautifuly in the external struggles of the characters competing for Takeo's loyalty. I strongly recommend this book to any one that is intersted in political warfare, complex characters, or just a good rich reading experiance. I know i can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.


One mark of a great book is that you come to see the world as the characters do; the rhythms of the sentences become the rhythms of your own thoughts, and the prevailing mood of the book becomes your own. The knowledge and wisdom of the writer comes to life in you as if conceived in your own imagination. Because of this, TALES OF THE OTORI (this is the first book in that series) easily ranks with any major work of fiction in the last century -- most directly "Lord of the Rings" (another trilogy, which Auden said exceeded "Paradise Lost" in its grasp of evil). Deceptively simple, the prose expertly mimics the cadences of classic adventure tales, evoking a time and place where the incredible is possible -- in this case, a mythical, medieval Japan. Characters develop literally fantastic powers, but still must live within a recognizable world with rigid rules, struggling both to understand and to conquer their own limitations. The main character is Otori Takeo, a boy on the cusp on knowledge. The main journey is the book is his -- but equal to him is Shirakawa Kaede, a girl who resists being dominated by men in a time and place where men have almost complete domination. Her wiles and will are counterpart to Takeo's ability and determination, and their story is utterly, completely captivating. But it is the telling of it that makes it especially compelling: the prose is that peculiar mix of majesty and melancholy characteristic of much Japanese art, whether painting (Sesshu is referenced many times in the text) or poetry, and Hearn describes the world she creates with tremendous energy and economy. It's a fantastic adventure, absolutely, full of riveting action and written with page-turning verve...but the mood of the book stays with you long after the last page is turned, and when you awake, it is as if from one the characters' own fever dreams: everything seems a little clearer, more precious, more beautiful and fragile. That is the true gift of any writer, in any time. I've read the series twice, and look forward to reading it again and again in years to come.


I bought this book as a present for a friend's young daughter, and she raved about it so much I thought I'd read it too. The adventures of Tomasu were so captivating that I was transported in a way that I haven't been since I was little, and reading C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. Anyone (kid or grown-up) who is willing to let their imagination run wild will devour Lian Hearn's books!
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