Fantasy Literature's Reviews > Across the Nightingale Floor

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
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's review
Mar 15, 2015

really liked it

The tagline stamped across the cover of Lian Hearn’s Across the Nightingale Floor is ‘One boy. One journey. One hidden destiny.’ Not only is this toe-curlingly clichéd, but it’s also pretty deceptive. It’s too reductive, too suggestive of the bog standard hero’s journey every fantasy fan has seen a million times. The book’s plot is complicated and surprising; its backdrop of a political feudal system riveting; the delicate Japanese-style landscape and customs are intricate. Across the Nightingale Floor, the first book in Lian Hearn’s TALES OF THE OTORI, is so much more than one boy, one journey, one hidden destiny. It’s fantasy at its finest and characters at their richest. Read More:

Tim: Lian Hearn’s Across the Nightingale Floor is one of those books that most adults reading YA want to like: the prose is good, the imagery lush, the themes serious and involving. It’s the kind of story we all like to imagine teenagers are actually reading, whenever they’re not gorging themselves on fatty comfort foods like the TWILIGHT series and its horde of imitators. My trouble with this novel, though, is not that it isn’t sufficiently adult and meaningful — it’s that it’s just…odd.

Now “odd” isn’t the most technical of terms, admittedly, so I’ll try to explain myself in more detail. Across the Nightingale Floor is about Tomasu (later known as Takeo), a young man whose pastoral life as a member of a peaceful tribe c... Read More:

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