Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Across the Nightingale Floor

by Lian Hearn

Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book 1)

If you enjoyed "Memoirs of a Geisha" or "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", you must read this book. The story is set in a feudal Japan, where the Tohan warriors are burning the villages of the Hidden, a group of Christian-like people who believe in peace and equality. In the mist of the turmoil, a young boy named Takeo, a member of the Hidden, is rescued from the Tohan by Lord Otori Shigeru of the Otori clan.

As Lord Otori's ward, Takeo discovers he is a member by birth of the shadowy "Tribe," a mysterious group of assassins with supernatural abilities. With his new found abilities, Takeo means to assassinate Lord Arai, the leader of the Tohan, to avenge the death of Lord Otori's brother. Along the way, Takeo meets the beautiful but deadly Lady Shirakawa, who is a pawn in the Otori/Tohan alliance and with who he falls in love. The story is fraught with star-crossed lovers, evil lords, brave warriors, and stealthy assassins.

Part period piece, part fantasy, Hearn creates a story that is impossible to put down. I am looking forward to reading the sequel "Grass for His Pillow".

Side note:Some of the names may be difficult to pronounce, and I recommend listening to the audio version.


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