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The Storyteller and his Three Daughters

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  223 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
From the internationally bestselling author of the TALES OF THE OTORI, comes a tale of families, love, intrigue and betrayal.

TOKYO 1884

Sei has devoted his life to storytelling, captivating audiences with his tales. But now he is starting to wonder if the new world has left him behind.

Just when he thinks he will never write again, his own life and the lives of the people ar
Kindle Edition, 177 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Hachette Australia
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Kate Forsyth
Dec 01, 2013 Kate Forsyth rated it really liked it
Lian Hearn is the author of the gorgeous bestselling ‘Tales of the Otori’ fantasy series for adults, set in an alternative feudal Japan, as well as a number of children’s books published under her true name, Gillian Rubenstein. The first book in the Otori series, ‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ is one of my favourite novels, the medieval Japanese setting being utterly fresh and fascinating.

‘The Storyteller and His Three Daughters’ is a departure from her other Lian Hearn books in many ways. The s
Sep 30, 2013 Rhiannon rated it really liked it
Overall, I liked this book. I always like Hearn's writing style but this book deviated from her usual voice. I read this book in one sitting, it was engaging and sparked my imagination.
I loved the narrator's perspective, it was really interesting to see everything through the eyes of a storyteller. The plot was a bit jumpy but could be overlooked because of the creative characterisation.
Henry Lien
Feb 06, 2015 Henry Lien rated it it was amazing
This is an irresistible book for all writers. It is historical fiction about a once celebrated live storyteller in 1880s Japan, his attempts to keep his work relevant as European storytellers begin to captivate Japanese audiences, and the larger political forces that begin to make themselves felt on his family and his art. It starts out as a domestic, quaint picaresque and gently, soberly ventures into more serious matters, such as the hijacking of art for propaganda purposes, without ever losin ...more
Oct 05, 2013 Karly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Japan in late 1800, this novel follows the life of Sei and his struggles to compete artistically against the increasingly pervasive Western influences on the traditional stories that Sei knows and loves to perform. Presented as a story within a story, the unique voice of the novel combines history with entertainment, and comments on the nature of storytelling, creativity and life.
This is the first novel I have read by Lian Hearn and I must say, I really enjoyed it. It was so different to
Oct 29, 2014 Betty rated it really liked it
This book is about story telling, the importance of stories and their use for political reasons. It is set in the 1880's in Japan, just as Japan was coming into contact with the western world. The historical context and Japanese culture add to what is a pleasant read.
Jan 20, 2014 Kim rated it liked it
Okay, easy to read but got lost with all the names. Not a book I was dying to get back to, but nice stories. ?!?
Oct 25, 2013 Thoraiya rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Your ability to enjoy may depend on your tolerance for writers writing about writing!
Dec 30, 2016 Aless rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I read anything by Lian Hearn (one of my longtime favourite authors). This story was about a storyteller, the process of creating and writing mixed with day to day life, which is unlike anything I've read before.
Because my tastes have refined over the last few years I find myself wondering sometimes whether my favourite books from long ago were really that good. But Lian hasn't disappointed. Her research on Japanese history and everything else is ridiculously well don
Oct 23, 2016 Shadia rated it liked it
Well written and interesting
Jul 25, 2015 Eleni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
This is one of those stories you could devour in a day, however I wanted to savour this story so read it over a few. The story follows Sei, a down on his luck, uninspired story teller master, who recounts his familial disputes and documents his life during a period of unrest in a rapidly Westernising Japan.

The writing in this felt very natural to me, and I was easily able to settle in to the role of Sei, and be able to view his family and live his life very easily. The title of this book threw
Sean the Bookonaut
Oct 30, 2015 Sean the Bookonaut rated it it was amazing
Lian Hearn has been recommended to me on a number of occasions by a number or people who know my tastes and hobbies. I can’t for the life of me figure out why I haven’t taken them up on the recommendation. Perhaps it’s my reaction to hyped up books and authors (I still haven’t read Harry Potter).

Sometimes other people do know you best.

Hearn is most well known for her immensely successful Tales of the Otori series, a fantasy series inspired by pre-modern Japan. The Storyteller and his Three Daug
Kassandra Jackson
Jan 21, 2015 Kassandra Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, january
Let me start off by saying I love this book and you should pick it up, It is a beautiful piece of historic fiction set in Tokyo in 1884.

The story follows Sei a story teller who would be in his late 40's I think or early 50, I'm going with 40's, He has been a successful story teller however in resent years he has been unable to make new story's and it loosing his statues. We follow Sei as he goes through trouble with 2 of his daughters, having it live will owing people money and trying to create
Mar 24, 2016 Bron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oriental-magic
I loved this book. At the beginning, it reminded me of those old black and white Japanese films about domestic life where not much happens, but people's relationships and thoughts and feelings are examined like works of art in themselves. Further in, something rather shocking does happen, action peaks then the extraordinary details of everyday life take over again. I grew to rather like the main character, Sei the professional storyteller who faithfully journals the facts - but privately uses ev ...more
Stephanie Byrne
Nov 15, 2014 Stephanie Byrne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Lian Hearn book that I've read and I really struggled to decide whether to give it a 4 or a 5. There was something I really enjoyed about reading this book though that made me not want to stop until it was over which I felt made it deserving of a 5.

None of the characters are overly likeable but I felt like the whole story was told so frankly and unashamedly that I couldn't get enough. I also really liked the way the dialogue was laid out and it all came across as very authentic
Kylie Keegan
Apr 12, 2015 Kylie Keegan rated it it was ok
WLA Summary:
Tokyo 1884. Sei has devoted his life to storytelling, captivating audiences with his tales. But now he is starting to wonder if the new world has left him behind. Just when he thinks he will never write again, his own life and the lives of the people around him begin to spiral out of control providing the inspiration for the greatest story he has ever told. A story of love, jealousy, intrigue, and betrayal. Set against the background of Japan's first incursions into Korea, Sei offer
May 17, 2014 Trish rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub-2014
bit slow a bit confusing with all the names started to warm up when there was talk about the conflict between Japan and Korea and that part of the story would have made a much better story development. There are some cultural things that the story does talk about that renders further investigation and could do some research on the relationship between Japan and Korea in the late 1800 particularly in relation to Japan's involvement leading up to the second world war. The writing style and express ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this tale of storytelling and writing - it gives an insight into the process and difficulties of story creating, developing and performing in different forms, and highlights the power of stories in a political sense.

The cross-cultural elements of Japan and UK/France, and Japan and Korea were interesting.

Sometimes I forgot what era the book was set in, as the family scenes had a universal timeliness, but occasionally there was a stray word that didn't fit the era or the character
Nov 25, 2015 Dasiy rated it liked it
Having read the Otori trilogy, I bought this book with great expectations. Like Pip in the novel 'Great Expectations', I was disappointed.

Like JK Rowling readers after the end of the Harry Potter series I had to put aside my expectations and accept the story on its own terms. It is neither wonderful or bad. It provided me with a week or so of distraction when I needed to free myself from life's cares.

This tale is significantly better than Hearn's awful tale 'Blossoms and Shadows' which I picke
Dec 04, 2015 Liza rated it really liked it
This is a book about writing and so much more engaging than Peter Carey's Amnesia although there are surprisingly some similarities. The central character is a middle aged storyteller somewhat past his prime who gets involved in political machinations involving another country (Korea) as a result of his relationship with a rich and powerful patron. The insight into life in Tokyo in the 1880s as well as the variety of interesting characters make this a very enjoyable read.
Delightful book. Lian Hearn certainly knows a lot about Japan, especially the past. Not that I am an expert on it. But she is able to give the feel of that time. You feel you have been transported to a different country and time as you follow the story of the master storyteller and his daughters. There is corruption, mystery, intrigue - all so beautifully told through the eyes of this sometimes brave and sometimes frightened storyteller. The place of women in the society is very clearly drawn.
May 14, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
What a discovery Lian Hearn is. Beautiful prose, fascinatingly well researched background, and a plot that keeps the pages turning. So apt for a tale that is all about story telling and which describes the art of generating stories so well.'And now I leave you in the capable hands of the next story'. (This was what storyteller performers always used to close with in Japan in the 1880's apparently). Wouldn't it be marvellous if there were public storytellers again?
Apr 03, 2014 Nikki rated it really liked it
This not typically a book that I would have bought myself but I am so incredibly glad that Sarah Forster bought it for me. Wow what a fantastic book. I loved the translated feel of the language and the complex story line that was written in a deceptively simply way. It is an excellent book and I loved reading it.
Feb 04, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Interesting read with great characters and better handled historical context (than Blossoms and Shadows). A story from an outsiders perspective however, reduces emotional involvement, which is what made the Tales of the Otori series so special.
Feb 11, 2014 Leah rated it liked it
I liked it. Interesting style and setting, if slightly contrived plot. Made me want to read more of her books.
Liz Mcfadden
Feb 02, 2016 Liz Mcfadden rated it really liked it
The story is set in Japan in the late 1800's. This book slowly but surely drew me in. The characters were fascinating and I found myself reading half the book in an afternoon.
Jennifer Rolfe
Dec 29, 2013 Jennifer Rolfe rated it liked it
Not the nail-biting saga of the Otori sequence but very quirky in Hearn's style. I loved the play of stories across cultures.
David Collins
Jan 24, 2015 David Collins rated it really liked it
I have read all the previous offerings by Lian Hearn, and enjoyed them all. There are a few twists and turns in this one that you don't see coming, however, this makes for a good read.
Karen Tooth
Karen Tooth rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2014
Johanna rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2013
Judy rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2013
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Lian Hearn's beloved Tales of the Otori series, set in an imagined feudal Japan, has sold more than four million copies worldwide and has been translated into nearly forty languages. It is comprised of five volumes: ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR, GRASS FOR HIS PILLOW, BRILLIANCE OF THE MOON, THE HARSH CRY OF THE HERON and HEAVEN'S NET IS WIDE. The series was followed by two standalone novels, BLOSS ...more
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