Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn

Just finished the superb trilogy ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR, GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW and BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON by Lian Hearn. Aimed at young adults, definitely appealing to old adults like me. A superb fantasy set in an imaginary last century Japan, with love, magic, warfare, quests. Absolutely superb writing, and the books avoid all the duller tropes of standard fantasy like arch language and tedious descriptions - Hearn can describe something beautifully and vividly in half a dozen words.

If you enjoyed films like Crouching Dragon, Hero and the like, you will love these. Best fantasy series I’ve read since Pullman’s DARK MATERIALS.

My girlfriend read the first 2 of these recently and loved them also.

I haven’t got to them yet, but will give them a go at some point.


Ditto, Matt. My wife loved first 2 and I had to race through vol 3 so she could read that as well.

Come to think of it though, I thought there were more than 3 books in the series.

I thought I saw a 4th or 5th one in a bookshop.


There is a fourth, “The Harsh Cry of the Heron.” It takes place about fifteen years after the first three. I’ve heard that a prequel is in the works, but haven’t actually seen it.


The fifth or part 0, since it takes place before the others, is called “Heaven’s net is wide” and was released september last year.

Do you think her choice of writing under a pseudonym is because she didn’t wanted the public to think this was a children’s book series? I’ve never thought of it as a children’s book even though it was released as such here in Sweden.