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Brilliance of the Moon

(Tales of the Otori #3)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  17,816 ratings  ·  436 reviews

A beautiful, haunting evocation of the medieval Japan of Lian Hearn's imagination, this thrilling follow-up to Grass for His Pillow and Across the Nightingale Floor delves deeper into the complex loyalties that bind its characters from birth. Filled with adventure and surprising twists of plot and fortune, this final volume travels beyond the Three Countries, to the outsid

Paperback, 346 pages
Published June 7th 2005 by Riverhead Books
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,816 ratings  ·  436 reviews

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Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, fantasy
The third book in this cycle of the Otori picks up where the second ended seamlessly, continuing the ongoing romance... and subsequent tragedies (yes, plural) that befall them.

Mostly Kaede, I think. She and all women have it the hardest in these books.

But that's kinda the point. Feudal Shogunate-ish as this is, with a sprinkling of fantasy clan magic makes it feel more like ninja action than anything else. But unlike Naruto, this doesn't have that many happy moments to balance out the dark and s
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This third installment picks up right after Takeo's and Kaede's wedding. The Otori uncles are sending threats and it's clear that to have any position amongst the warring clans, indeed any chance to stay alive, Takeo and Kaede must first gain men and power themselves so after defeating the Otori army, they travel to Kaede's domain to reclaim it (after the death of Lady Maruyama, some men took over despite the law being different in that region).
Meanwhile, Takeo is still hunted by the Tribe as we
Aug 30, 2015 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 turnabouts, intriguing liaisons between characters, sword fights, love, treachery, friendship.
The characters are well-developed, complex, with inner turmoil and weaknesses.
“You should never despise people because they haven’t had your opportunities.”
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and nice story!!!!
Aug 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: alt-history
Having purchased all five books on the strength of the first, I am at a crossroads. This book delivered the lyrical, descriptive language that I found so enchanting in Book 1, and it also provided some plot twists that kept me on my toes. Where I felt it faltered was in the resolution of the story; which seemed to get wrapped up in what seemed like 15-20 pages or so. The denouement was even less palatable, with a fell of "and 20 years later...."

***SPOILER ALERT: The pivotal role that the pirate
Nov 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, japanese, own
The stories take place in a fantasy world based on ancient Japan. The stories follow a boy, Takeo, as he is thrust into a warrior-based society after his family is slaughtered. It also follows the tale of Kaede, a beautiful, but cursed girl who becomes the love and passion of Takeo's life.

The stories are derivative of many boy-hero books, you'll see hints of Lord of the Rings, and even Star Wars if you look carefully enough. While the book relies heavily on this style, it doesn't take away from
Pam Baddeley
The third volume in the trilogy starts where the second left off. Kaede and Takeo are now married in defiance of the norms of their culture and without the permission of Arai the powerful warlord who now controls a great part of the country. Takeo needs to fulfil his destiny as described to him by the holy woman in book 2, and to avenge his adopted father and uncle Shigeru. Kaede needs to travel to the domain she inherited from Shigeru's deceased lover and assert her claim, especially as the inh ...more
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kacey Kells
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing trilogy!

If 'Tales of the Otori' is a compelling epic story, it's also (first and foremost) a poignant love story. The 3 books are well written; the description of the feudal Japanese society, its rules and organization are clear and impressive;... and the love story is intoxicating. The result is a gripping page turner.

If the status of women is deeply frustrating and hurts, if the ghastly cruelty that characterized social relations is terrifying and repulsive, the purity of the main
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This is a trilogy that has been sat on my shelves for years. I read Across the Nightingale Floor when I was a teenager, I can’t remember when I read it first but I then bought the sequel Grass For His Pillow straight after and I never finished it. Then, much much later, I found the third and final book in a charity shop and bought Brilliance of the Moon. Again I tried to reread the series but never finished. I made it my mission this year to do it. I was not putting it off again. So I decided to ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it liked it
The last book in the "Tales of the Otori" but not really the end of the story so maybe they'll be another... I enjoyed reading these. They take place in a medieval Japan. A boy, Takeo, is rescued by Lord Otori who will become his adopted father. The story centers around Takeo, the love of his life, Kaede, the Tribe, and the feudal wars of the time.

There is a prequel to these called, "Heaven's Net is Wide". I'm starting it now but I wish I would have read it first.
Florin Pitea
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quite impressive both in terms of plot and regarding style. Recommended.
Patrícia Branquinho
Worse than the second book, still keeps the epic adventure feeling while reading it. However, the quiet and slow pace of the second book that allows for one to feel the oriental scenery, is totally lost on this one. Action follows action, and all the necessary description (that was very well accomplished on the second book), is left aside, leaving the reader with much difficulty to feel all the fights, feelings, changes and even understand properly plot twists.
Still, it is very easy to read and
Tracy Smyth
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars - I’m really enjoying this series. Great read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathan Burgoine
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Listening to this trilogy has been like immersing myself in a wonderfully developed myth of old Japan. It's fantastic, and if you've never listened to 'Across the Nightingale Floor,' then that is where you need to start.

In the third volume, things are perched on the precipice. Can Takeo take his destiny into his own hands, and use war to bring peace to the lands? Will Kaede, who has become so much more than a helpless young woman, finally take control and escape the paper and silk prison she has
Miglė Keliotytė
This one was way better than Grass for His Pillow , but still, I found the ending of it a little bit rushed. But fans of the previous parts of the series shoud definitely read it.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third installment of the series was a bit redeeming after a promising Book One and a disappointingly slow Book Two. Book Three makes you work for it though, as the interesting twists came after I was halfway through.

I had thought that this was a 3 part series, though I now realise its actually 5 - with a prequel and final book from the point of view of Takeo's son. So in a way, it is a trilogy of Takeo Otori's story.
I don't think I will be picking up the other two books unless I am looking
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This final book in the trilogy did not disappoint. I enjoyed the interlacing of history, with mystery, magic, myth and legend, set within a Medieval Japan consisting of exotic sounding names, places and a strongly feudal and warrior based society. I look forward to reading the additional two books in this series - a sequel and prequel.
Christina Ridgeway
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I felt myself spacing out alot during this book. The first half of the book felt very very slow and finally started picking up pace towards the end. I wish I felt more compelled to read these books and somehow feel I should finish the whole series since I have made it so far but it wasnt as good as the 2nd book I would say.
Wilde Sky
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This story of samurai / honour left me a bit cold and I found the writing quite clunky.

Overall rating 2.5
Hanabi Tensaki
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Pollock
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susanna Zhang
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
You know when you try to read a different book to stand out? But then after a bit it was a little boring. But then you’re deep into so you just had to finish it. This was that.
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marsha Stokes
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
I just finished reading Brilliance of the Moon, by Lian Hearn. It is the third book in the Tales of the Otori series. I enjoyed this book more than the second book because the plot felt like it was really taking you to the conclusion of the story. The action and battles all lead up to the big battle at the end. When it was all over, I was really pleased and satisfied with the ending. I knew all the characters at this point, and it was easy to get absorbed in their life and want to see how things ...more
Kathleen Dixon
I wasn't sure when I started reading this whether I really wanted to continue the series. I guess the second one didn't seize hold of me as much as the first, and so I wondered if this would be even 'lesser'. And for quite a while I was having my doubts met: it seemed like it was going to be all about war, an there were so many characters and I couldn't remember who they all were. But then something happened and I was pulled in.

This continues the saga of Takeo and Kaede and their challenges to t
Martha Sockel
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
After finishing the second in this great series, I had to find out about when the next would be due... but I have to say that this book was truly worth waiting for and gave all I wanted as a great fan and a reader of the book.

The third in the Tales of The Otori series starts off with Takeo endearing to have his land returned to him, as he was the legal heir to the Otori clan, and being adopted by the well known Lord Shigeru. With his Wife, Lady Shirakawa Kaede by his side, and many loyal men tha
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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

Other books in the series

Tales of the Otori (6 books)
  • Heaven's Net Is Wide (Tales of the Otori, #0)
  • Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, #1)
  • Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori, #2)
  • The Harsh Cry of the Heron (Tales of the Otori, #4)
  • Orphan Warriors
“It's like a spell. It's so strong I can't fight it. Is love always like this?” 22 likes
“..while I was happy enough to pray to any god, knowing that they were simply different faces created by men, of one indivisible truth.” 8 likes
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