Across the Nightingale Floor

Across the Nightingale Floor

Book - 2003 | 1st Riverhead trade pbk. ed.
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Penguin Putnam
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...

Baker & Taylor
In a novel set in a land much like feudal Japan, a young boy named Takeo becomes a pawn in the ceaseless battles between rival warlord clans in a culture ruled by codes of honor and formal rituals.

& Taylor

In a novel set in ancient Japan, the first volume in The Tales of the Otori trilogy, a young boy named Takeo becomes a pawn in the ceaseless wars between rival warlord clans in a culture ruled by codes of honor and formal rituals. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2003, c2002.
Edition: 1st Riverhead trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9781573223324
Branch Call Number: PR9619.3.H3725 A65 2003
Characteristics: 305 p. : ill, map ; 24 cm.


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SPPL_János Mar 08, 2018

Beginning of a fantasy trilogy set in an analogue of feudal Japan, in which a member of a persecuted, pacifist religious group (allegorical Christians, awkwardly) is forced to become an assassin. Atmospheric, but neither the plot nor the hero's moral conflict deliver.

SCL_Justin Jul 12, 2017

Across the Nightingale Floor is a story with a medieval “Asian” setting in which a young man is saved from his destroyed village by a noble tragic lord and is taught mad ninja skills to take revenge on the evil lord who destroyed his village (and killed his new noble lord’s brother in a battle years before). It is a pulpy story in which Takeo stops speaking and thus can hear everything happening in the castle because his father he didn’t know was part of the assassin clan that exists. There’s another storyline about a young woman who’s a hostage being used as a bargaining chip by the evil lord. She’s going to be married to the noble lord, even though he secretly loves the head of the only clan allowed to be led by women… Fairly standard samurai/ninja melodrama.

It was okay, but I’m not rushing out for the rest of them. I think most of my problems revolved around how it felt like a nice white person writing an old D&D Oriental Adventures module. A good module, but still. I’d much more strongly recommend Ken Liu’s Dandelion Dynasty (which is more of an epic mashup) or Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven series (which is in not-China, but a specific-feeling not-China instead of a mashup of feudal Japanese-ish stuff).

Apr 21, 2017

one of my favorite series of all time... and not usually a genre i read. I now am on the look out for all books by Lian Hearn. I highly recommend.

Aug 12, 2016

Great escapist fantasy! I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series.

Jun 11, 2015

Excellent! Assassin fantasy set in a distinctly Japanese milieu. This one’s got everything you want in a good martial arts fantasy tale: ninja assassins, samurai warriors, beautiful princesses, evil lords, deadly battles and even deadlier magic. It’s a coming of age tale with a lot of “kick” to it and one that you won’t want to miss – as a teenager or as an adult. Highly recommended. It is very fun and has great action scenes!

forbesrachel Feb 17, 2015

Takeo was born among the Hidden, a peaceful and adventuresome lad, that ended the day his village was burned to the ground. In what seems like a stroke of luck he gets taken under the wing of Lord Otori, and is inducted into a world of deception. Takeo's latent skills for assassination emerge quickly, and from that point on a plan is set in motion to kill Lord Iida, a tyrant who has caused grief for them all. Lady Kaede, the other narrating voice, also suffers because of this man. She has no freedom, and is to be used as a pawn. Her misfortune makes her pitiable, but by our standards she comes off as quite weak, except in those moments when she acts. Through her, the author delivers the unexpected, this will hopefully lead to her character developing in the next volume. The story is set in the author's own version of ancient Japan, and while it has the political bickering and warring factions like many a tale of this sort does, the focus is on Takeo's growth, and establishing his character. Veiled words, a deep respect for nature, and forbidden love fill out this world, making it more than just a revenge story.

manicmama Sep 17, 2012

I had never heard of this writer before, and picked this book at random - which was a stroke of luck for me, or I might have missed a wonderful read. I was drawn into the story from the first page, and couldn't put it down till I'd finished the whole book. I now can't wait to read the other two books in this series. Highly recommended for anyone who likes stories with a taste of the Oriental.

Aug 06, 2012

Absorbing, complex, set in feudal Japan. Story deftly weaves youth Tomasu (raised in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, his mother's peaceful people) into the treachery of clan wars and the secretive Tribe (people of his assassin father). Loyalty, revenge, and heritage drive a difficult bargain down a path that denies first love and heir to his adoptive father, Lord Otori Shigeru.

Sep 28, 2011

I bought this book on a whim and it completely blew me away. I quickly read all the books in the series and when I finished, immediately started them all over again. There's something really special about the historical accuracy mixing with the fantasy elements.

Jan 26, 2011

Peter had to read it in Sec 3

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Aug 13, 2015

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