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Across the Nightingale Floor

Lian Hearn

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Young Picador

Published : 2004

Copyright : Lian Hearn 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 0-330-41528-X
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-330-41528-6

Publisher's Write-Up

In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the murderous 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.

Brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people, Takeo has learned only the ways of peace. Why, then, does he possess the deadly skills that make him so valuable to the sinister Tribe? These supernatural powers will lead him to his violent destiny within the walls of Inuyama - and to an impossible longing for a girl who can never be his. His journey is one of revenge and treachery, honour and loyalty, beauty and magic, and the passion of first love.

About the Author:
Lian Hearn studied modern languages at Oxford University and worked as an arts editor in London before settling in Australia. A lifelong interest in Japan led to the study of the Japanese language, many trips to Japan and culminated in the writing of Across The Nightingale Floor.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Harry Zoltaire Craig (300611) Rating (9/10)

Review by Harry Zoltaire Craig
Rating 9/10
Let me take you to the island nation of Nippon. Set in imaginary feudal Japan, Across the Nightingale Floor is part YA fantasy and part romance told in an almost poetic narrative. It opens with sixteen-year-old Takeo finding his entire village wiped out by a powerful warlord's men (the warriors were actually sent there to kill him). What better way to start a novel?

Orphaned but having escaped death, Takeo is taken in by Lord Shigeru of the opposing Otori Clan who has travelled far and wide to adopt him. Takeo has mystical powers (something of which the boy is not aware) that he inherited from a secret and outcast race called the Tribe with which Shigeru has a mysterious link. In his castle, Lord Shigeru mentors Takeo and coaxes out his mystical powers of invisibility and sharpened hearing, even as the most powerful warlord of the land, threatened by the boy's power plots Takeo's demise.

The pacing is terrific, filled with betrayals and misty intrigue, a cross between Shogun and Lord of the Rings. There is never a dull moment in the entire book. As with all YA fantasy novels, one has to suspend disbelief in terms of Takeo's powers, but the author did a terrific job of this, and especially in building a "realistic-imaginary" world, oxymoron as this word might seem.
Harry Zoltaire Craig (30th June 2011)

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