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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  17,842 Ratings  ·  527 Reviews
Praised for its epic scope and descriptive detail, Across the Nightingale Floor, the first book of the Tales of the Otori, 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 of the Tales of the Otori, we return to the medieval Japan of Hearn's c ...more
368 pages
Published May 21st 2004 by Riverhead Books (first published August 11th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rebecca
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book but it wasn't bad. Not much seemed to happen. The writing was still nice to read and lyrical, and it's a nice series to marathon.

Some spoiler-ish/rambly thoughts that won't make much sense unless you've read the book:

(view spoiler)
...more
Alina
Aug 22, 2015 Alina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great series about ancient Japan with its samurais and their conduct codes, ninja-like fighters, Christians' persecutions; it has political scheming, interesting twists and turns, intriguing liaisons between characters, sword fights, love, treachery, friendship.
The characters are well-developed, complex, with inner turmoil and weaknesses.
“Death comes suddenly and life is fragile and brief. No one can alter this either by prayers or spells.”

Vaso
Feb 11, 2013 Vaso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this series.... Well Done.....
emily
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
...more
Karissa
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
Jeraviz
Nov 21, 2013 Jeraviz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
...more
Martini
Darker and more mature than the first part, but just as good.
Petros
Nov 17, 2011 Petros rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeph
Jan 05, 2009 Jeph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kandice
May 07, 2010 Kandice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Becca
Aug 13, 2011 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Florin Pitea
Mar 23, 2014 Florin Pitea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.
Mark
Oct 10, 2012 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Lenette
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
...more
Andrew
Nov 28, 2011 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, fantasy
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
Sandy
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
...more
Search
Feb 08, 2011 Search rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ambrosia
Apr 21, 2012 Ambrosia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Arminzerella
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
...more
Barbara Spencer
Jan 03, 2015 Barbara Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Across The Nightingale Floor and wasn't the slightest bit disappointed with Book 2, as if so often the case. Instead, of contracting the action, Lian Hearn expanded it, to take in the story of Kaede Shirakawa and also the Tribe, the men whose gifts are shared by Takeo. Paid assassins, their skills are in great demand as powerful warlords seek to control or assassinate their enemies. Forcing Takeo to go with them, they are determined that he should learn the ways of the Tribe, that is abs ...more
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
...more
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
...more
Isabel
Jul 02, 2014 Isabel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ingles, fantástico, 2003
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
Ignacio Senao f
Jan 27, 2017 Ignacio Senao f rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Juro que no hay derecho a que algo tan MALO tenga la posibilidad de no solo ser publicado, sino que lo sean 5 libros y tenga semejante media aquí.

Una novela juvenil, mal escrita, perdida entre los dolores de su protagonista, sin historia contundente y mucho menos original. La acción se la pasa por el forro. La ambientación asiática tan solo se ve en la tapa del libro. Los personajes han sido defecados por un culo de mono.

Les las 10 primeras páginas y las 10 últimas y te quedas con la misma sens
...more
littlemiao
Feb 06, 2013 littlemiao rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Mar 18, 2009 Allison (The Allure of Books) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Bettie☯
A nice read mostly from Kaede's point of view. It did not feel like a bridge the way some second-in-a-trilogy books do.
Timóteo
Gostei bastante desse livro! Mais inclusive do que me lembro de ter gostado do primeiro livro, O Piso Rouxinol.

Curti demais o desenvolvimento da Kaede, que já havia sido minha personagem favorita do primeiro volume, nesse ela toma conta da história completamente.
Quanto ao Takeo, sua participação nesse livro é mais "reduzida" (ele deve ter cerca de 1/3 do livro), mas consegue se desenvolver também. Passei a gostar de seus (interminaveis) capitulos ao longo do livro.

O livro termina em um belo cl
...more
Melanie
Apr 21, 2017 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't deny I had issues with this book, mostly concerning Takeo, who was insufferably annoying. I really disliked how he feels exactly like Fitz from Robin Hobb's books. But I had to give Grass For His Pillow four stars for a single reason: Kaede Shirakawa. In the previous book she bothered me a little, but I could understand why she was acting that way and under which circumstances she was acting. But this was the turning point for her, and her character development was majestic (even though ...more
Eric
Mar 03, 2017 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories of Takeo and Kaede continue.

Kaede's story becomes fairly philosophical, concerned largely with the position of women in society, and what position she intends to take for herself.

Takeo's primary concern continues to be the Tribe, and the legacy of his adoptive father.
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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 (5 books)
  • Heaven's Net is Wide (Tales of the Otori, #0)
  • 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.” 10 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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