Across the Nightingale Floor : Tales of the Otori

  • by Lian Hearn
  • Narrated by Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
  • Series: Tales of the Otori
  • 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.Sixteen-year-old Takeo's village has been massacred by an evil warlord, and he is about to be slain by the men who murdered his parents and neighbors. At the last moment, his life is saved by a nobleman, who claims the boy as his kin and begins his education.But nothing is as it seems. Takeo discovers that he has rare powers that are useful to those around him. As he grows into manhood, he must decide where his loyalties lie: with his noble master and adoptive father; with the Hidden, a secret, spiritual sect whose beliefs are forbidden; or with the Tribe, the assassins and spies who consider him one of their own.A story of treachery, political intrigue, and the intensity of first love, set in a world ruled by formal ritual and codes of honor, Across the Nighingale Floor crosses genres, generations, and genders to captivate fans of all ages.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: At the heart of Lian Hearn's beautiful saga of samurai, enchantment, and passion in feudal Japan is the story of two ill-fated lovers, brought to poignant life with the dual performances of Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone. Trading chapters as their stories intertwine, Gray and Nakasone anchor the action with their alternating voices, underscoring the very personal stakes amidst the epic tale of feuding warlords. —Ed Walloga

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What the Critics Say

"The novel fills a unique niche that is at once period piece and fantasy novel." (Amazon.com)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful epic story

I listened to the sample and could think of nothing else until I downloaded it; and, having just finished, I have just purchased the next book; and am listening to the this one again!

This book has just about everything; epic story; love (requited and not), honor, heroes, scoundrels; magic and wars.

The story starts with the narrator's story. He is rescued by a lord when his village is destroyed. The reasons behind all this, are developed in the story. There is also the story of a young woman, held as a hostage to ensure cooperation between "warlords". They meet and the rest well, I won't tell you. The story goes back and forth between these two characters.

The reading is excellent, but the Japanese names are a bit difficult. I do not know if the names would be easier in print. The images, while painted with spare strokes, capture a feeling of a different time and place. I suggest listening to the sample; if you like that, you will like the book.
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- Jody R. Nathan

Just don't understand the praise this book gets.

After seeing all the praise for this book, I was excited to listen to it. I kept waiting for the book to find it's stride, but it never did. The book has the beginnings of something interesting, but doesn't deliver.

Feudal Japan (even though this is something of a parallel universe) has so much to offer a book like this, but there is very little setting of scene. In fact, I'm not sure I heard more than one consecutive sentence of description. One obligatory mention of the swirling cherry blossoms is as much as we get, which is really too bad. If there's one thing Japan has in spades, it's aesthetics. It's as if the characters are walking around a brief sketch of a scene -- not such a bad thing if the characters stood on their own.

I'm not usually a harsh critic, and will generally give a book it's due even if it's not up my alley. But this book just kinda falls flat; The beginnings of a good fantasy setting, the details of which are never fleshed out; a great atmospheric location that's entirely ignored; and cardboard cut-outs of characters.

Read Ender's Game (or even Harry Potter) for this kind of experience done right.
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- Valerie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-12-2003
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books