Across the Nightingale Floor (2002): Lian Hearn


Tales of the Otori: Book I

I’ve wanted to read this for years. Although I only visited Tokyo last year, I’ve long been interested in certain aspects of Japanese history: the samurai, especially, and the codes of honour and nobility that governed their society. I was intrigued by Hearn’s world, which is inspired by medieval Japan and promised to be refreshingly different from the pseudo-European fantasy norm. And yet, when I began reading yesterday morning, it was with some trepidation. After all, when you’ve looked forward to reading something for so long, there’s always a fear that it might not be as good as you expected. Fortunately that fear was unwarranted. The book lived up to its reputation and dragged me, wide-eyed and wondering, into a thrilling tale of revenge, intrigue and forbidden love.

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