Brilliance of the Moon: Scars of Victory

October 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, )

scarsBrilliance of the Moon: Scars of Victory by Lian Hearn


After over 1000 pages, the Tales of the Otori comes to a close as Takeo finally fulfills his destiny and exacts his revenge on those who started his journey at the very beginning of the series. As befits the saga, his journey is filled with sacrifice, betrayals, and honor, and it all comes together in Scars of Victory. As the title suggests, Takeo is likely to win, but at what cost?

For the series to be that long, I’m surprised that the story feels less epic than other fantasy stories. One part of it is that the series isn’t a traditional fantasy, but the main part is due to the story being more personal than other epics. A Song of Ice and Fire is a sprawling epic with a large number of characters, but Tales of the Otori is about Takeo and Kaede. Other characters and events play into the story, too, but by centralizing her focus, Hearn gives intimacy to the story, bringing the reader closer to her characters than the events that drive their stories.

It feels like little happens in the series, but Hearn’s style of writing belies how much actually takes place over the span of its 1300 pages. I believe I’ve mentioned her gentle style in each of the reviews preceding this one, but it’s true: Her narrative lulls you into a false sense of peace. I love that style.

It’s hard to think of who I’d recommend read these books. They don’t follow the traditional epic fantasy structure, despite being a part of that genre, and they aren’t strictly historical novels, either. I guess I’d recommend them to anyone who finds their summaries intriguing, and would suggest starting with the first one and seeing if you take to it. I’m not sure what I expected from it, overall, but I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.

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