Book Reviews of Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One)

Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One)
Across the Nightingale Floor - Tales of the Otori, Book One
Author: Lian Hearn
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $16.00
Buy New (Paperback): $12.79 (save 20%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $8.89+1 PBS book credit (save 44%)
ISBN-13: 9781573223324
ISBN-10: 1573223328
Publication Date: 6/3/2003
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 155

4.1 stars, based on 155 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

30 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on
Helpful Score: 6
This epic draws inspiration from historic feudal Japan. Firearms technology is soon arriving and Christian ideals are taking hold and both will greatly alter the ancient samurai order. Dances a line between young adult fantasy and historical fiction.

This series in not about lots of sword fights, battles, and gore. Lian Hearn, the pseudonym, I believe, for Japanese scholar and young adult author (Gillian Rubenstein) focuses more on character development and political intrigue. Hearn creates a well textured historical culture that appeals to someone like myself who enjoys clever intrigue and a level of mystery.

Highly recommended for anybody who enjoys a carefully crafted story, fantasy or otherwise, by a well studied author. The cross genre appeal of historic fiction makes it a good read for the occasional fantasy reader.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.

A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.

However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 310 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
By the time I read a page of this book I was completely sucked in and completed it in a few hours. Set in a world similar to feudal japan but with magical elements, this story centers around a boy whose life is completely changed in one day. Outside forces and his birth ensure that his life will never be normal. I was very interested in the world that the author created - a tribe of assassins with special inherited powers, feudal lords, revenge, arranged marriages, and a young man coming of age. Well written characters. A little angsty.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is a first in the Otori trilory, set in ancient Japan. It is a most extraordinary novel...the passion and rapture of this story is so compelling that it's almost worth delaying your holiday for. A must read.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
From Amazon.com:
The debut novel of Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series, Across the Nightingale Floor, is set in a feudal Japan on the edge of the imagination. The tale begins with young Takeo, a member of a subversive and persecuted religious group, who returns home to find his village in flames. He is saved, not by coincidence, by the swords of Lord Otori Shigeru and thrust into a world of warlords, feuding clans, and political scheming. As Lord Otori's ward, he discovers he is a member by birth of the shadowy "Tribe," a mysterious group of assassins with supernatural abilities.
Hearn sets his tale in an imaginary realm that is and isn't feudal Japan. This device serves the author well as he is able to play with familiar archetypes--samurai, Shogun, and ninja--without falling prey to the pitfalls of history. The novel fills a unique niche that is at once period piece and fantasy novel. Hearn unfolds the tale of Takeo and the conflicting forces around him in a deliberate manner that leads to a satisfying conclusion and sets the stage for the rest of the series.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on
Helpful Score: 2
Reading it was like stepping into an ancient and exquisite piece of Japanese art work. A bold story delicately told. With strong characters, well thought-out chapters, and a knack for bringing me so deep into the story that felt like I could feel the mist and smell the lotus flowers. It was a delightfully unusual, and left me scurrying to find the rest of the books in the series. Highly recommended!
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on
Helpful Score: 2
Excellent audio book!! Narration shifts between male and female point of view and both cast members do a fantastic job. The writing is beautiful and it is a beautiful story to have read aloud. The characters really touched me and I found myself thinking about them long after the book was finished; in fact, long after the series was finished. The story is a mix of mystery, adventure, a touch of fantasy and, at it's heart, a tender love story. Highly reccommended, 5 stars!
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.

A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.

However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting story...I kept waiting for it to be a fantasy, but it wasn't really...more an interesting look at a possible country life in rural china, many years ago.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.

A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.

However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
First in a fun series. Enjoyable with a good mixture of fantasy and history. Excellent read.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 100 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have been looking for this book for some time and had it on my wish list. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but I did. I highly recommend it, even if you don't ordinarily like fantasy or feudal novels.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is very entertaining and draws you into Japan of long ago and the characters that make a country what it is. The story is great,a true love in the midst of country-wide war,the characters are believable from the beginning. I could not put it down,before I finished this I ordered book two of the trilogy.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It is an imaginative and captivating tale mixing reality of life in old Japan filled with mystical powers, love and betrayal.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on
This was a good book and a very easy read. I will read the next book in the series.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 3 more book reviews
This is a fascinating story that left me wanting more. I have ordered Book 2 and Book 3 of this series.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 23 more book reviews
Excellent story line, good action, adventure with philosophy and romance too.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 1756 more book reviews
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.

A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.

However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 60 more book reviews
Very good tale....will read the next one in the series.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 2 more book reviews
This book is an easy read, its prose is pretty simple (maybe I would even put it in the young adult section). But I enjoyed it for the unique story, and I like ninjas :)
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on
This is a very good book. The story is full of conflicting honor betrayal and love in a truly oriental world A fascinating read.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 41 more book reviews
This is a spell binding tale of ancient Japan layered in fantasy. Hanunting and hard to put down. It is the first book in a trilogy, with amazing sword fights, a quest, twisted court politics and romance.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 32 more book reviews
Intriguing story about a young man who is torn between his birth into a secret ninja clan of assassins and his adoption as a feudal lord's son.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 17 more book reviews
Book was excellent and interesting.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 72 more book reviews
Very well written account of a young man becoming a warrior and more
in feudal Japan
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 13 more book reviews
Lush prose and wonderful story. First of a trilogy.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 1756 more book reviews
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.

A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.

However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 1756 more book reviews
I have to admit that I bought this series because the covers on the books looked beautiful and the description in the inner sleeve sounded intriguing. The story starts out decent enough, but it is simply written without a lot of detail that could make the story so much better. The characters are quite bland and neither they nor the plot has a lot of depth to it.

A big complaint I did have for this story is the lack of Japanese "flavor" the story has. I just didn't get a feel for the culture in which this tale was supposed to being taking place in. The author does a poor job in making the background of the world and the characters come to life. Granted, there are Japanese names and places in the book, but the writer should've incorporated some local dialect and phrases into the character's dialogues and thoughts because I feel this would have given it that little extra something. Especially since it's noted in the blurb about the author how he's studied the Japanese language... not using this knowledge seems a bit of a waste.

However, even though it's mediocre, it's interesting enough to compel me to read the next book in the series since I have it on hand. Hopefully the author will have grown some in his writing skills.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 7 more book reviews
Fast-paced, historical novel.
I hope to read the two sequels.
reviewed Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book One) on + 63 more book reviews
Read this book months ago ~~~~ remember my enjoyment while reading it but no details about the story. Did not order the rest of the series. I think one would enjoy this book if you have eclectic interests and though the other reviewer did not feel that there was enough emphasis on the culture and customs of Japan it added to my knowledge ;o)))