Across the Nightingale Floor: Journey to Inuyama

October 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

Across the Nightingale Floor: Journey to Inuyama by Lian Hearn

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journeyJourney to Inuyama is the second part of Across the Nightingale Floor, the first book in Hearn’s five-book fantasy story set in an alternate feudal Japan. It picks up right after the first part ends, and serves as acts two and three of the book. Where we learn of Takeo and Keade’s histories in the first part, in the second part we see them come together, where their lives will become intertwined. Their stories take place against the backdrop of the lords’ politics, in which they will serve a large part, but the story is about Takeo and Keade first and foremost.

Hearn writes well, with her style and characterization carrying the story. There’s a plot to Journey to Inuyama, but Hearn’s narrative takes center stage. It’s not purple or overly distracting; it simply flows well, carrying the reader along in its gentle yet relentless pace. At times, it feels like nothing’s happening, but when you pause long enough to think about the plot, you realize she’s keeping you engaged without any tricks.

Readers of Sword of the Warrior will want to read this book (and should); anyone else attempting to start here will be lost. These are not two books that serve as first and second books in a series; together, they are one story. Anyone with an interest in Japanese culture would enjoy these books, but I would hesitate to recommend them to any fans of traditional fantasy books. The fantasy element is so light that they might find themselves disappointed.

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