Grass for His Pillow : Tales of the Otori

  • by Lian Hearn
  • Narrated by Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
  • Series: Tales of the Otori
  • 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Book II of the internationally best-selling Tales of the Otori trilogy, a sweeping saga set in a mythical, medieval Japan.In Book I of the Otori trilogy, Across the Nightingale Floor, Lian Hearn created a wholly original, fully-realized fantasy world where great powers clashed and young love dawned against a dazzling and mystical landscape. Nightingale was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, one of Book magazine's best novels of the year, and one of School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for High School Readers.In this second tale, we return to the story of Takeo (the young orphan taken up by the Otori Lord and now a closely held member of the Tribe) and his beloved Shirakawa Kaede, heir to the Maruyama, who must find a way to unify the domain she has inherited. In a complex social hierarchy, amid dissembling clans and fractured alliances, there is no place for passionate love. Yet Takeo and Kaede, drawing on their unusual talents and hidden strengths, find ways both to nurture their intense personal bond and to honor the best interests of their people.Like its predecessor, Grass for His Pillow is a transcendent work of storytelling: epic in scope, shimmering with imagination, and graced in equal measure with rapturous writing and exhilarating action.

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What the Critics Say

"With quick, direct sentences like brushstrokes on a Japanese scroll, [Hearn] suggests vast and mysterious landscapes full of both menace and wonder." (Publishers Weekly)
"Lian Hearn has created a world I anticipate returning to with pleasure." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good book. First one was better

I liked this book, but liked the first one better. The story seemed to drone on in some spots but is still very good all the same. I'm also not a huge fan of the female reader--she is too measured (slow) for my tastes. But this is still a really good book by all rights.

I'm really looking forward for the third one in the trilogy to come out!
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- RacerX

Mixed results; Typical middle book

This book falls into many of the pitfalls of a second book in a trilogy: it needs room to set up the finale after a first book that needed to concentrate on being stand-alone in case an audience didn't take to it. Consequently, this book has long stretches where the action rambles, as do the conversations. On the other hand, this book contains the best single scene in the first two books: Kaede confronting her "mad" father. The psychosexual nature of the scene is harrowing and it had me on the edge of my seat. Later, when Kaede is plotting how she will keep her domain afloat in winter, the book also becomes intriguing: how will a woman in this culture of men retain control? While the ratio of Takeo/Kaede chapters remains equal it can be said that this second book is largely Kaede's. She comes out of the "shock" of the first book and must take ground to equal Takeo's epic journey. He, on the other hand, has more of an inward trip on this book, figuring out which way his life will go. Overall, the action of this book takes a back seat to the character development. While this is not bad, it can be disappointing to the reader who wants a brisk pace. If you really liked the first book then this second volume will not deter you from going on to complete the third (which, I hope, brings on the conflict/action in heavy doses). If you were lukewarm on the first book, I would not advise you to continue.
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- Matthew

Book Details

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