mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Across the Mockingbird Floor. (76)

Across the Nightingale Floor: The Sword of the Warrior by Lian Hearn.

Who was it who danced
across the nightingale floor?
Her knife sang a song.

Wasn't I just saying that nobody wants to play a Courtier in Legend of the Five Rings? Well, this puts an obvious lie to that, as the courtly life of the Seishuu provides tons of compelling reasons to play a Courtier! I'm getting ahead of myself, though. This is the first part of the Tales of the Otori, a series of books set in a fictional feudal setting with heavy Asian influences-- predominantly Japan. Like Rokugon, it is a samurai fable. I like "Oriental Adventures" settings-- I think that the mish-mash of feudal Europe that most Western fantasy comes out of it all well & good, but there is a certain je ne sais quoi in the Panasian setting that Hearn captures effortlessly. You get the tension between passion & duty that really makes these sorts of stories sing; people caught between love & obligation, between revenge & honor. Very nice. Lian Hearn has also knit together a less despicable sort of ninja-- sort of a magical kung-fu monk-- & since ninja as such a big piece of the Westernized view of Japan, it is nice to see them integrated into the story with aplomb. My sole complaint with this book is that the crease of the page catches the important boundary zone of the map; I like maps & was sad to see the binding eat the boarder between the Tohan & the Otori.
Tags: books, haiku, hearn, tales of the otori

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