Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
(Tales of the Otori, Book 1)

69%

11 Critic Reviews

The novel's labyrinthine plot includes secret engagements, arranged marriages, assassination plots, betrayals, arrests and characters torn by divided loyalties. It's all very complicated, and, indeed, the first couple of chapters are difficult.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

An international bestseller, Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn. Don't miss the related series, The Tale of Shikanoko.

In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.

The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assassin and a member of the Tribe, an ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills. When Takeo's village is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor—and to his own unimaginable destiny...




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Lian Hearn

See more books from this Author
Lian Hearn was born in England and has had a lifelong interest in Japan, where she has lived there and speaks Japanese.
 
Published June 3, 2003 by Riverhead Books. 324 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Humor & Entertainment, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Across the Nightingale Floor
All: 11 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jan 01 2008

A complex plot that Hearn carries us through with the greatest of ease. What could have been a Shogun-like exercise in bloat becomes a rousingly muscular piece of romantic adventure.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jan Mark on Sep 13 2008

An exotic tale of love, violence, loyalty and betrayal set in a complicated feudal system constructed by Lian Hearn

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Sep 02 2008

Hopefully, the next book will show what Hearn is really capable of.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Maura McHugh on Jun 29 2008

This is a well-established and realised world, and at 294 pages it's wonderful to read a story that is fast-paced and doesn't overstay its welcome. 

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Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Curt Schleier on Jan 01 2008

The novel's labyrinthine plot includes secret engagements, arranged marriages, assassination plots, betrayals, arrests and characters torn by divided loyalties. It's all very complicated, and, indeed, the first couple of chapters are difficult.

Read Full Review of Across the Nightingale Floor ... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Gregory Kirschling on Oct 11 2008

Pop culture always follows what's worked, and Obi-Wan Kenobi starring in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sounds pretty cool.

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SF Site

Below average
Reviewed by William Thompson on Jan 01 2008

It fails to convince, the narrative demanding more information that the author can attempt tied to her spare approach. 

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Strange Horizons

Good
Reviewed by Lori Ann White on Jan 20 2008

ompassionately drawn, the setting is clear and vivid, and the writing often has a spare beauty all its own.

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Boomtron

Good
Reviewed by Boomtron on Jan 01 2008

Hearn’s writing style is not lyrical or showy – . . everything happens very quickly, and not much space is given to long, overdrawn descriptions. This style, however, seems to suit the novel very well, and makes for a quick, hard-to-put-down read..

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Inis Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by Inis Magazine on Sep 01 2008

Powerful though the story is, the writing is uneven.

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New England Science Fiction Association

Excellent
Reviewed by Elisabeth Carey on Jan 01 2013

There are cartoon characters here, but they're peripheral ones, not the crucial ones, and this first third of the story is very good.

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Reader Rating for Across the Nightingale Floor
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 322 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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