Heaven’s Net is Wide
Tales of the Otori #0
follows Shigeru and his brother Takeshi; Otori who are betrayed and fall under the power of Iida. Gives the back story of all that happened before Takeo is found. This series is a brutal look at feudal life. Women were helpless, those not of nobility were helpless and death was but one step away for almost everyone. Also delved into the Hidden a lot more. Showing the difference between their regard and love for life in contrast to the Warrior Class’s lust for death and personal power. Truly, Christianity is the only thing that will save this world.
The Harsh Cry of the Heron: The Last Tale of the Otori
Tales of the Otori #4
an unexpected, and final, tale of the Otori. Takeo is threatened by the Emperor, who is taking an interest now that the Three Countries are doing well, and also by Zenko Arai, who’s life was spared by Takeo. Deals with his eldest daughter, twin daughters, and the son who is being raised by Akio, to fulfill the prophecy of his son being the only one able to kill Takeo. In the end, Takeo is betrayed by Kaede, allows himself to be killed, and through it all keeps the peace of the Three Countries. Sad but fulfilling. Not depressing.
Brilliance of the Moon
Tales of the Otori #3
81 / 3 stars
The final sentence. I was depressed. 4 battles to win, 1 to lose. The one Takeo loses overshadows the others. He and Kaede are separated, surrounded by death, betrayal[by people, the elements and seemingly fate itself] and weakness. The last chapter shows the happy ending, but you don’t get to travel along. You are dragged thru the mud of the sadness, then abruptly going to a party. No time to collect yourself, clean up, and prepare for the good stuff.
Grass for His Pillow
Tales of the Otori #2
81 / 3 stars
This was like a semicolon between 2 sentences, and I have yet to read the second sentence[ie, the 3rd book]. It focused on the staying alive of Takeo and Kaede. Not nearly as engaging as the first book.
Across the Nightingale Floor
Tales of the Otori #1
86 / 3stars
based loosely on feudal Japan. A village boy watches his village be destroyed, is rescued by a Lord[of the Otori Clan] and finds out he is one of Tribe[ninja like people with special abilities]. Treachery, love, backstabbing, duty, resolve, all were here. This was a great story. I look forward to the next 2.