Review: Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori #1) by Lian Hearn

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

Against the backdrop of feudal Japan, this tale unfolds. Takeo is the sole survivor of the massacre of his village. He is saved from certain death by one Lord Otori, who becomes his mentor and father figure. One day, Takeo hopes to confront the man who slaughtered his mother, sisters, and everything he had known.

There are parts of this book, which I loved a lot. Feudal Japan has so much beauty despite the prevalence of violence and the harshness of the honor systems which everyone is bound by. Hearn describes this time period with depth, detail, and style.

I loved the journey the reader takes with Takeo through his training (reminds me of heist books, which I've mentioned before I enjoy). Unfortunately, Takeo is also a rather flat character who can seem to do no wrong. Lord Otori is an interesting figure although he also does not have many flaws. Granted, that's the way feudal Japan liked to portray its heroes especially with the Japanese penchant for silence in regards to flaws.

I have to admit that the story dragged at times, which made it hard to continue reading. I did end up enjoying a good majority of it though, so I think Across the Nightingale Floor is worth taking a look if you enjoy gorgeous imagery although I don't plan to read the books in the rest of the series.

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

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8 comments: Jump to Comment Form

Never read anything set in Japan :( maybe I should try this.


I read this bookand I'm currently reading the second one! I simply love this book!!


I've read the entire series of this. I think that the second one is the best book out of them all. I agree with you that the story drags, but I loved reading about feudal Japan. There is also some magical realism in it too, which I thought was really awesome.


Not sure if this is my type of book but I hope others will enjoy it.


Yah, this is not necessarily a book for everyone


This does sound like an interesting read, and the cover is lovely. I've never actually read anything set in Japan or any Japanese literature, so this might be a good place to start.


I loved the first three books in this series but was so disappointed by the fourth that I never bothered to read the fifth. It's put me off reading her new one too.


@Sam Japan was definitely a huge part of this book!

@mum sadness


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