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

by Lian Hearn | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1573223328 Global Overview for this book
Registered by quietorchid of Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on 11/22/2013
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by quietorchid from Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Friday, November 22, 2013
Read this when it first came out. Enjoyed it very much. Clearly based on the period in Japan before the rise of Oda Nobunaga.

Amazon review:
In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.
The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assassin and a member of the Tribe, an ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills. When Takeo's village is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor—and to his own unimaginable destiny...

An international bestseller, Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn.

Journal Entry 2 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Released 10 yrs ago (11/26/2013 UTC) at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent off as a Birthday Surprise tucked into a Manga bookbox. I hope you like it!

P.S. If the book is too good to read and release, that's okay, you can keep it, just let me know that it's found a good home!



Journal Entry 3 by HI77 at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Tuesday, December 3, 2013
A boy that bites a wing

of magic,
and cascades through his mind.

Journal Entry 4 by HI77 at Fort Myers, Florida USA on Friday, January 10, 2014

Released 10 yrs ago (1/10/2014 UTC) at Fort Myers, Florida USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book has jumped into the Asian Themed Bookbox of 2013/2014!! :)

I hope the new people it runs across will give it a chance, it's a great book! :D

Journal Entry 5 by k00kaburra at San Jose, California USA on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This book enjoyed a brief stop in San Jose, CA before continuing its travels in the Asian Themed Bookbox!

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I read this book back in 2010 and wrote the following about it:

When Tomasu’s rural village is slaughtered by the cruel leader of the Tohan, he is adopted by Lord Shigeru, who is from a rival clan called the Otori. Shigeru renames the boy Takeo and begins teaching him the traditions of the warrior class. Made temporarily mute by the horrors he witnessed, Takeo discovers that his hearing has grown sharper, a trait that identifies him as one of “The Tribe”, a secret group of supernaturally gifted spies and killers. Other special abilities emerge as well, enabling Takeo to stop an assassination attempt on Shigeru. Shigeru decides to adopt Takeo as his heir, but powerful members of the Otori family are opposed to his wish.
Meanwhile, in the castle of the Noguchi, Kaede Shirakawa has been held hostage since she was seven years old. She has developed a reputation as a cursed woman because men who desire her die, although through no fault of her own. It is decided that she will marry Lord Shigeru, forming an alliance between the Tohan and the Otori. Kaede is sent to meet her future husband, but it is Takeo that she falls in love with.

When I first picked up this book, I was puzzled that it was shelved in the fantasy/science fiction section. It seemed like it was set in feudal Japan and involved ninjas and samurai – what’s so fantastical about that? But the book is conveniently not set in Japan, but in “The Three Countries,” a decision that allows author Lian Hearn to run wild with Japanese mythology and history without being bound to it.

Some of the Japanese influences are obvious, of course. The Tribe = ninjas. The social classes all follow feudal Japan – there’s the Emperor, nobles/courtiers, warriors, merchants, peasants, and outcasts who do the jobs no one else will do – and of course all the names are Japanese. It’s friggin’ Japan. I thought it interesting that the religions of the book also follow Japanese history. I don’t know *why* this surprised me, but there it is. Takeo’s family were members of “The Hidden”, a religious sect with practices and beliefs that sound suspiciously like Christianity, while others follow the teachings of the Enlightened One (Buddha-but-not-Buddha) or a Shinto-esque religion. A lot of careful research went into the making of this book, which makes me wonder: did the author always intend to write a book set in not-Japan, and if not at what point did he decide to move his setting to a fictional universe?

So anyway. Yes. Across the Nightingale Floor. It is so, so good. The story’s a little predictable, since it follows the standard Hero’s Journey (thanks, Joseph Campbell!) but it’s well-written, with great characters. But there’s tons of action – like I said, samurais and ninjas – and the fight scenes are really well-written. Too well, in some cases…a couple of passages are pretty freakin’ graphic.

This is probably the first book in a long, long time where I finished it and IMMEDIATELY had to hunt down the next book in the series. I just had to know what would happen to Takeo, who is torn between the worlds of the Tribe and the Otori, and whether Kaede’s fierce independence would be enough to let her determine her own destiny. I recommend it very highly!

Journal Entry 6 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Thursday, June 19, 2014
I was feeling that I shouldn't take out too many books from the box, as I've a lot of TBR already. But the glowing reviews from my BC friends here (plus all that Best Novel, Book-of-the-Month Club selection brags) convinced me to give it a try.

Journal Entry 7 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Thursday, April 11, 2024
I noticed the journal dates and thought, yay, I read this just shy of its 10th anniversary at my house. Should I be happy? I think these books are hiding until they pop up after 10 years to make me feel bad. : /

I really enjoy this book. I thought it's a YA samurai book, but it feels like it's not exactly targeted for younger audience, despite the protagonists being teenagers.

Quite squarely set in feudal Japan despite the fantasy genre categorization that lets the author get away from the constrain of history, it still feels quite well researched. I am saddened by some events in the book, but I guess for a hero story, some events need to happen to propel the hero to grow, move on and make certain decisions.

As an apology to the book for its decade-long imprisonment, I'm taking it on a long trip.

Journal Entry 8 by wingAzukiwing at BC 2024 Convention in Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, April 11, 2024

Released 1 mo ago (4/19/2024 UTC) at BC 2024 Convention in Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

This book, cooped up in Florida for the last decade, is making up for lost time and embarking on a big trip!! Travel far, little guy!!

Journal Entry 9 by wingLotty_wing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Saturday, April 20, 2024
I've taken this one from the Bookcrossing Convention in Tampere.

Journal Entry 10 by wingLotty_wing at Boekenkastje Nieuwland in Borgloon, Limburg / Limbourg Belgium on Saturday, May 4, 2024

Released 3 wks ago (5/4/2024 UTC) at Boekenkastje Nieuwland in Borgloon, Limburg / Limbourg Belgium

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Fly and be free!

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