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Publisher's Summary

An epic fantasy set in a mythical, medieval Japan, Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series has crossed genres, generations, and genders. Grand and complex in its themes, elegantly written, each book in the original trilogy has become a worldwide best seller. This surprise fourth installment (and real conclusion), The Harsh Cry of the Heron, achieves new heights of drama and action. 16 years of peace and prosperity have passed since Lord Otori Takeo united the Three Countries. Takeo and his beloved consort, Kaede, have three daughters and a happy family life. Their success has attracted the attention of the distant Emperor and his general, the warlord Saga Hideki, who covet the wealth of the Countries. Meanwhile, the violent acts and betrayals of the past will not lie buried, and other secrets will not stay hidden. Everything that Takeo and Kaede have achieved is threatened.
In full ninja versus samurai fashion, Hearn delivers a kinetic, heartbreaking, and uplifting resolution to a thoroughly gripping saga.
Don't miss the rest of the Tales of the Otori series.
©2006 Lian Hearn (P)2006 HighBridge Company
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Critic Reviews

"Seizes you from start to finish." (The Washington Post)
"Hearn seamlessly fuses fact and fantasy to create a sprawling, bewitching realm of magic." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Otori saga gets better with each book, and this is the most absorbing entry in the series, complete with intrigue, magic, romance, and action. A perfect final chapter." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth on 01-20-08

Destroys the happy ending of the trilogy

I loved the trilogy and was excited to read this sequel. I now wish I hadn't read it, however, because it turns the entire story into a Greek tragedy, you end up hating half the characters as they cater to the worst in their natures, and the anticipated dressing down that you expect for the villain is so understated that the awaited climax is ruined. I also agree with other reviewers that the narration was really bad. The other issue is that the book ends with the fate of several characters completely unknown or poorly fleshed out. There are some characters introduced in a way that leads you to expect them to play into the story (like Takeo's sister), but the book ends with the foreshadowing having been for nothing. I ended the book hating Kaede, having tons of unanswered questions, and not knowing the fate of several key characters. If you loved the trilogy, don't ruin it with this book.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Bruce on 04-05-08

Fourth Book falls short

First off, I loved and was totally enthralled in books 1-3 mostly because the narration of all three books were the same people and great acting. They kept you glued, conscious and focused. The switching from the male perspective to the female was great. Then came the anticipated fourth book and they (for some reason) changed the narration characters....AWFUL! I barely got through the book, the Male narrator was bland, monotone and had no excitement whatsoever then the Female voice was almost intolerable boring especially when she tried to do a males voice OMG!!!
The book itself was good but a bit redundant at times, kind of sporadic and drawn out. Again I really think that changing the narration characters was a grave choice and was disappointing, but nevertheless I had to listen to all 19 hours because I invested so much time in the later books that I needed the conclusion.

Over all I give this book a 3 star.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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