Every so often a novel appears wholly unlike anything that has appeared before. Across the Nightingale Floor is such a novel. The first book in The Otori Trilogy, it is a brilliantly imagined, seductive tale of war and intrigue, the intensity of first love, and the tragedy of betrayal. Set in an imaginary, ancient Japanese society, it is the story of Takeo, a young man born to a spiritual people known as the Hidden. 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 his village is pillaged, Takeo is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under his tutelage, Takeo 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 nightingale floor and to his destiny within the walls of the black-walled fortress at Inuyama. Overcome by the intensity of first love and conflicted by split loyalties and his own divided nature, Takeo realises that he must make his own way on this journey of revenge and treachery, honour and loyalty, betrayal and love.
FOUR MILLION COPIES SOLD. In 40 languages. One of the most thrilling series of our time. Enter the feudal world of the Otori - filled with magic, treachery and intrigue - inspired by medieval Japan and created by acclaimed Australian author, Lian Hearn. 'The best story of magic, love, sex, revenge and suspense to have come this way since Philip Pullman.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY In his 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 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, beauty and magic, and the passion of first love. INCLUDES an extract from GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW PLUS three chapters of EMPEROR OF THE EIGHT ISLANDS, the first novel in Lian Hearn's spellbinding new Tale of Shikanoko series. 'One of the most thrilling series of our time.' THE TIMES ' ... a world that is rich with character and detail, yet effortless to read' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 'An engrossing fantasy saga of literary quality.' THE AGE 'Lian Hearn's marvellous storytelling talent ... makes reading these books a moment of pure bliss.' LE MONDE
A first installment in a three-part prequel to Across the Nightingale Floor follows the story of spiritual mentor Lord Otori Shigeru, who receives warrior training, forges a relationship with a tribe of mysterious assassins, and meets the Lady Maruyama.
The third title in the compelling Tales of the Otori – the story that began with Across the Nightingale Floor and Grass for his Pillow, Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn is an epic tale of love, power and destiny, set in a mythical world inspired by feudal Japan. Takeo and the exquisite Kaede, still only teenagers, are now married, but the implacable forces of destiny that rule their lives tear them apart. Takeo, a battle-hardened warrior at the head of an army fighting for his Otori birthright, finds his courage and leadership forged in the fire of bloodshed and sacrifice, while his legendary magical powers are tested to their limits against the invisible assassins of the Tribe. Kaede, determined to reclaim her own lands, is treacherously betrayed and forced into marriage. Their love will survive until death – but death, in this savage, beautiful world, is always only a moment away.
Grass for His Pillow is the second novel in Lian Hearn's astonishingly beautiful series inspired by feudal Japan, Tales of the Otori.In the ancient Oriental lands of the Otori, amidst a time of violent war, famine and treacherous alliances, the fate of the young lovers Otori Takeo and Shirakawa Kaede hangs in the balance . . . Takeo, heir to the great Otori clan, has pledged his life to the secret Tribe. His supernatural skills of virtual invisibility and acute hearing make him their most deadly assassin. But he must deny the solemn oath of vengeance he made, his adopted birthright of wealth, land and power - and his love for Kaede. If he does not devote himself entirely to the brutal ways of the Tribe, they will kill him. Whichever path he chooses, it will lead to hardship and sacrifice in the bitter winter of the high mountains, and test him to the limits of his being. Kaede, heiress to vast lands, is now the valuable pawn of ruthless warlords. She must use her intelligence, beauty and cunning to assert her place in a world of all-powerful men - who must never suspect the dangerous secret she hides. 'The beauty, savagery and strangeness of Hearn's gripping tale is heightened by her exquisite, crystalline prose. The second instalment in the Tales of the Otori is, astonishingly, even better than Across the Nightingale Floor' Independent on Sunday
A new generation, a relentless enmity. The thrilling climax of Lian Hearn's multi-million-copy bestselling OTORI series As a boy Arai Sunaomi was known as the Miracle Child and crossed between the worlds to walk among the dead. Now he has put aside his past to follow the way of the warrior. His aunt, Kaede, is considering making him her heir, and her General, Miyoshi Kahei, hopes to betroth Sunaomi to his daughter, Kinu. But there is one girl whom Sunaomi cannot forget: Utahime, who has been dead for seven years. Will he dare bring her back to life? Utahime's brother, Masao, is Sunaomi's oldest friend and the only surviving relative of the great warlord Saga Hideki. When Masao disappears after a fight in the city, Sunaomi is charged with finding him. With his cousins, Kiyoko and Kichizo, sibling assassins from the Tribe, Sunaomi sets out on a journey which will take him into an enthralling and dangerous world of spirits and supernatural beings, rebels, pirates and saints - the extraordinary and enchanting world of the Tales of the Otori.
Orphan warriors fight for survival in a brutal medieval world in this enthralling new chapter in Lian Hearn's multi-million-copy selling OTORI series The bitter struggles of the Tribe and the clans have left many children orphaned. Among them are Sunaomi and Chikara, sons of Arai Zenko, who face death after their parents' treachery. Their aunt, Kaede, is able to save their lives on condition they become novice monks and never leave the temple at Terayama. Sunaomi has been brought up as a warrior, yet his grandmother is Muto Shizuka. He cannot escape that he is also a child of the Tribe. As he discovers unimagined talents within himself he comes up against Hisao, Takeo's son, the ghostmaster, as well as Saga Hideki, the most powerful warlord in the realm, the Emperor's General. Taking place in the magical medieval world of Tales of the Otori, Orphan Warriors is a coming-of-age adventure story in a human world of courage and sacrifice behind which always hovers a supernatural world of danger and dread. Praise for Lian Hearn: 'Brutally thrilling historical fantasy' Herald Sun 'Much like Game of Thrones, the book can be read as political intrigue. Nobody is black or white, rather shades of grey' The Age 'Huge imaginative vitality. Moves onwards with the narrative force of a flood. It is easy to let the book sweep the reader away' Sydney Morning Herald 'The action comes thick and fast . . . Compelling characters and captivating worldbuilding' Japan Times
FOUR MILLION COPIES SOLD. In 40 languages. One of the most thrilling series of our time. Enter the feudal world of the Otori - filled with magic, treachery and intrigue - inspired by medieval Japan and created by acclaimed Australian author, Lian Hearn. 'The best story of magic, love, sex, revenge and suspense to have come this way since Philip Pullman.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY In the ancient lands of the Otori, in a time of war and famine, the fate of the young lovers Otori Takeo and Shirakawa Kaede hangs in the balance. Takeo, heir to the great Otori clan, has pledged his life to the secret Tribe. To follow their brutal directions and become their most deadly assassin he must deny the spiritual vows of his peaceful upbringing, his birthright of wealth, land and power - and his love for Kaede. If he turns his back on the Tribe they will kill him. Forced to take a path that leads him to extreme danger Takeo grows from boy to man. Kaede, heiress to vast lands, is now the valuable pawn of ruthless warlords. She must use her intelligence, beauty and cunning to assert her place in a world of all-powerful men - who must never suspect the dangerous secret she hides. INCLUDES an extract from BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON PLUS three chapters of EMPEROR OF THE EIGHT ISLANDS, the first novel in Lian Hearn's spellbinding new Tale of Shikanoko series. 'One of the most thrilling series of our time.' THE TIMES '... a world that is rich with character and detail, yet effortless to read' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 'An engrossing fantasy saga of literary quality.' THE AGE 'Lian Hearn's marvellous storytelling talent ... makes reading these books a moment of pure bliss.' LE MONDE
A FREE ebook exclusive short story, including a personal letter to readers, by the bestselling Australian author of TALES OF THE OTORI, Lian Hearn. The publication of my new series, THE TALE OF SHIKANOKO, sees me celebrating a career that has spanned fourteen years and nine novels. ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR was published in 2002 and I'm delighted that new readers are still discovering the Tales of the Otori. I'm very grateful to all my readers - many of you who've stayed with me from the beginning. To show my gratitude I'm making available this very short story, HIS KIKUTA HANDS (first published by Ragnarok in their anthology Blackguards). It takes place behind the scenes of BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON, the third Otori novel. I'd always wanted to expand these pages where a lot happens in a short space of time: Otori Takeo has come to Maruyama, the furthest city to the west in the Three Countries, to confront the Tribe families and secure what is his by right. The Tribe don't believe he possesses the requisite ruthlessness of a competent ruler. They will be proved wrong. I also hope you will enjoy this early extract from my new novel, EMPEROR OF THE EIGHT ISLANDS, set 300 years before Otori. Lian