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Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori, #2)
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Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori #2)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  15,086 ratings  ·  435 reviews
Praised for its epic scope and descriptive detail, Across the Nightingale Floor, the first bookin the Tales of the Otori series, was an international bestseller and critical success, named by the London Times as "the most compelling novel to have been published this year." With Grass for His Pillow, Book Two, we return to the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn's creation—a land ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Riverhead Books (first published 2003)
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I'm calling these books young adult as well as for adults, though I think the only reason I think of them as young adult is because the protagonists are in their late teens. These are definitely books I would have read and loved as a teenager; there's no explicit sex though lots of reference to it, and the violence is hardly as graphic as you see in movies.

Anyway, genre descriptions aside, this is a brilliant trilogy and I am literally only pausing long enough to write my review of book two befo
This is the second book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn. This book picks up where the first left off. Takeo leaves Kaede for training under the mysterious Tribe; whose supernatural abilities Takeo has inherited from his father. As his training concludes, and he is asked to take out certain missions, he must ask himself if his loyalties will lie with the Tribe or with the Otori? Kaede meanwhile is left on her own to return home and see what state her family is in. Kaede struggles t ...more
Darker and more mature than the first part, but just as good.
Lian Hearn's "Grass for his Pillow" is a must-continue for fans of "Across the Nightingale Floor", and resumes the story of Otori Takeo and Shirakawa Kaede, of the first book, but leaves much to be desired in terms of plot, action and everything else that made Hearn's first entry in this series so magical and endearing.

"Grass" picks up almost exactly where "Across" left off. Takeo is now with the Tribe and much of the book focuses on Kaede trying to claim her inheritance of domain, meanwhile fen
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Apr 17, 2009 Allison (The Allure of Books) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Allison (The Allure of Books) by: Fiona
This book wasn't as good as the first one for me...just not quite as magical and exotic feeling...which could just stem from the fact I've been reading Shogun so the mythical Japanese world doesn't seem as mysterious to me as it did with Across the Nightingale Floor. The book still captured me from beginning to end, and I was caught up in the story. The book was pretty tense, and the ending set up very well for Brilliance of the Moon, can't wait to read it!
Florin Pitea
"Grass for His Pillow" is pleasant reading and a nice addition to the Tales of the Otori trilogy. I can hardly wait to read the third volume in the series. Recommended.
I enjoyed reading Across the Nightingale Floor quite a bit, but my mistake was that I didn't buy the sequels at the same time. By the time I remembered to get them, two years had passed and, possibly because of that time away from Takeo's world, I didn't enjoy this second volume nearly as much. For the first several chapters I was completely lost as to who was whom (despite reading Wikipedia's largely useless recap of Across the Nightingale Floor beforehand), and by the time I started remember ...more
Notice: I have made a review for every book of this series and they need to be read in order since they are supposed to feel like an on-going impression. So if you read the second without reading the first will feel rather off.

I am mostly focusing on the style of storytelling and a lot less on if it reads well or something sophisticated like that. For the same reason I tend to have lots of SPOILERS which means that if you read this text you will know THE OVERALL PLOT and how much I DIDN’T like
Andrew Frueh
Compelling enough, but felt to me more like an interlude between the start and conclusion of the trilogy. It has been many years since I read the first book, so it took a considerable amount of time for me to remember the events that took place in it. But even still, I felt like the emotional pitch of the book was a bit flat. There were a few exciting moments, but even the situations that should have been powerful lacked the impact they should have had. It's possible that was intentional to evok ...more
This being the second, in a planned trilogy, I felt it was more of a "place holder" or a "where we are now" kind of book. It reminds me of The Empire Strikes Back. It's a continuation of the story of the characters we've come to love, but not much happens. We get a lot more back story, but not a whole lot of action, other than to put our heroes in a harder spot. That's okay, I already have the third book on my nightstand waiting to be read.:)

The Japan that Hearn has created is beautiful. I gener
Like others have mentioned, 'Grass For His Pillow' is a bridge, obviously leading up to events in the third book. While the book is slow, the language is still flowery and engaging, and I am continually intrigued by the complicated web of politics and honor. I greatly appreciate how the Tribe's abilities are supernatural, yet it does not feel like fantasy or magic.

However, I am finding it exceedingly difficult to establish an emotional, immediate connection with the main characters, Takeo and Ka
In this book, our hero Takeo figures out over the course of about 200 pages that all of the decisions he made at the climatic end of the first volume (Across the Nightingale Floor) were stupid. He then spends the last 100 pages attempting to undo these decisions and set things right - the act of which promises to cause the conflict that will drive the last book in the trilogy since aparently the timing is no longer right so now the "right" decisions are actually bad decisions.

Honestly, Kaede's
For a middle-book in a trilogy, this one was really fabulously done, with the exception that it should have been longer. I love where the story-line is going even though I'm not sure where it will end up, the characters (which I thought were fabulous for the most part in the first book) have really grown on me, and the relationships that have developed are full and interesting.

One thing I really like about this author so far is she isn't afraid to subject her characters to the greatest pain pos
Miglė Keliotytė
Uf. Finally finished.

I guess this book just wasn't for me. It was a task to read Grass for His Pollow to me. I really wish it was different, as I enjoyed the first book of this series more. But... it just felt like nothing happened in this book at all. When actually, a lot of things happenened, it just didn't feel like it.

Anyway, fans of the first book might like this one as well. Maybe it's just me who didn't, as there are a lot of positive reviews. So don't take my word for gold, it's just my
While the plot structure of this second book in the series is a little less traditional than the first, that actually works in many ways to its advantage. Both of the main characters are trying to find their identity in various ways, and while the plot is far less action-oriented, I found the character development associated with their internal struggles to make them far more compelling than they were in the first book. Towards the end, when Takeo sees Kaede and observes how much they've both ch ...more
I think the series has grown on me, I am finding the writing in the 2nd book to be much better quality, and my complaint with the last book about detail has been rectified in this book. The pacing is slower than in the first book, though I have found this slowing down to be well compensated by the rise in quality of the prose.
Upto now I don't agree with the general opinion that this book is somehow lesser than the first one, on the contrary it may be better.
After finishing this book one can see
Lo más interesante que pasa en este libro es una pelea en una barca. Y dura dos párrafos.

Gran decepción. Me leí la primera parte hace años y me dejó buenas sensaciones pero ahora que retomo la saga me encuentro con que los personajes son planos y llenos de tópicos: El Elegido que según una profecía cambiará el mundo, el grupo secreto que trama venganza en las sombras, la damisela enferma que no puede estar con su amado... Lo único decente que veo es que el papel de las mujeres no lo relega a sim
I *read* the first two Tales of the Otori books as audiobooks. There were two readers for each of the two main character's voices: Takeo and Lady Shirakawa. Takeo's reader was male and sounded Asian, which really helped bring the story to life, as it takes place in a sort of feudal Japan.

The second book loses some momentum, and then hands the reader the very thing s/he's been waiting for much too easily. There is plenty of intrigue, spying, plotting, and excitement as well as death - dealt to t
Although I gave this the same number of stars I gave Across the Nightingale Floor, I enjoyed book 2 of this trilogy less than the first one. While things happened in book 1, this book was mostly about the characters being holed up for a winter while making plans about what to do in the spring. It moves the characters forward, as they decide to make plans for themselves rather than allowing themselves to be pawns for other people, but nothing goes into action. It's a shame that an entire book wa ...more
I have to admit that the ending came as a shock, not because I was surprised by the concluding event, but because not enough had happened in the story to justify a conclusion. Nothing particularly climactic, since in my mind, the last event (no spoilers) was fairly predictable. It seemed like it was cut off just for the sake of getting another book out of it. Still, it is obviously setting the stage for something dramatic and I am invested enough to keep going.

The fact that the male protagonist
Don Mitchell
The last half was fairly good. The first third was a tiresome sermon by the female lead explaining why she was pursuing equality and equal access in a male dominated culture. The book as a whole speaks as an imposition of modern values onto a medieval Japanese society. However, once action and some dialog replaced sermons, the book got better.

Nevertheless, the book is very much of a sequel setting up the 3rd book in the trilogy. It feels as if its whole purpose is to retrieve the story, pull in
Filler. Good thing I didn't spent my money on it. Not much happened. I think I sorta slept trough it. There was lot of talk of past events. (view spoiler) But really ...more
Emily (BellaGrace)
Big chunks of this book were overly descriptive and boring. I don't like the Kaede character - I don't find her believable at all. She's an uneducated 14 year old girl who falls in love with a 17 year old boy literally the moment she lays eyes on them. They sleep together one time and of course she gets pregnant. Then this 14 year old girl with no education or experience in politics decides she's going to go against the male dominate culture and be her own woman and never remarry and claim her l ...more
Fantasy Literature
We saw myth, legend, folklore and tradition of feudal Japan seamlessly woven in Across the Nightingale Floor, and Grass for His Pillow offers equal richness and storytelling depth. In what marks the second book in the trilogy, Lian Hearn returns to the stories of Takeo and Kaede as they choose their alliances amidst increasing unrest between the clans.

Grass for His Pillow opens with Shirakawa Kaede lying in the temple; she is in the deep sleep Takeo put her in when we last saw her. Upon waking a
I really enjoyed this series.... Well Done.....
Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
Rumit..makin rumit..liat Genealogy Tree-nya dulu ya:

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Pasca kematian sang antagonis, Lord Tohan Iida di seri sebelumnya..wilayah kerajaan Tohan dan negeri jajahannya..otomatis mengalami kekosongan..tak ada kepemimpinan..kosong.. dan Lord Arai Daiichi sang desertir secara sepihak adalah penguasa baru wilayah ini..Bagaimana nasib percintaan Takeo dan Kaede???


Lord Takeo yang disambut bak pahlawan karena telah berhasil memenggal kepala si lord antagonis..padahal sang pembunuh seben
I've just finished this book for the second time, not even 5 minutes ago.
For some odd reason, I really enjoyed it. Perhaps it is just because of all the references to Japanese life, and I love reading about that type of thing.
However, the plot was lacking. The whole book was a setup for the next in the series, and to me I felt as if there was no climax and I wasn't sure when I started to get the feeling that I had started into the resolution. I think it was just when I realized there were so m
Wer bin ich? Wohin gehöre ich?

Der zweite Teil der Geschichten um die Otori glänzt mit ähnlichen Eigenschaften wie Teil 1, Across the Nightingale Floor. "Grass for his Pillow" ist dabei noch deutlich zurückhaltender mit Action und bietet stattdessen tiefe Einblicke in die Persönlichkeit der Protagonisten, die über den ganzen Band weiter ausgearbeitet werden. Nahtlos geht die Handlung vom Vorgängerband weiter - nachdem Takeo praktisch dazu genötigt wurde, sich dem "Tribe" anzuschließen, beginnt nu
Patricia J. O'Brien
I'm really enjoying this series. Perhaps I get an added pleasure from the moments of descriptive writing that remind me of haiku in the midst of an action-packed story of struggle and strife. Book Two continues the political intrigue, mysterious relationships and star-crossed love affairs of the first book, as well as serving up some beautiful writing.

Here are two examples (two different POVs) of that spare but powerful style:
I made no decisions and came to no conclusions. I simply lay awake for
Drunkenness Books
Après avoir eu un coup de cœur pour Le Silence du Rossignol (chronique ici), j’avais hâte de me plonger dans la suite des aventures de Takeo et Kaede et je n’ai pas été déçue ! Les Neiges de l’Exil nous emporte directement après la chute du terrible seigneur Iida. Takeo a fait son choix : il poursuivra son entraînement auprès de la Tribu et abandonnera toute prétention à l’héritage Otori. Kaede, quant à elle, se retrouvera plus seule que jamais dans un monde où la force des hommes domine. Mais e ...more
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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
More about Lian Hearn...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of the Otori (4 books)
  • Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, #1)
  • Brilliance of the Moon (Tales of the Otori, #3)
  • The Harsh Cry of the Heron (Tales of the Otori, #4)

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“Death comes suddenly and life is fragile and brief. No one can alter this either by prayers or spells.” 9 likes
“Moartea vine pe neasteptate, iar viata e fragila si scurta. Nimeni nu poate sa schimbe asta, nici prin rugaciuni, nici prin vraji.” 1 likes
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