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Hearn's books

Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:01 pm
by Windwalker
I just finished reading the four tales of the Otori. I liked the style, very "Japanese" without being forced (the descriptions of nature, the ono no aware). I found the mix of realism and fantasy a bit uneasy, but I managed to suspend the disbelief enough to enjoy the story.

I liked most of the characters with the major exception of Kaede, who seemed to me both weak and unlikeable and got worse as the series progressed (like Padmé in Star Wars, with which this tetralogy shares some very interesting commonalities, probably arising from the shared mythical background).

It's an interesting tiny sidebar that the author chose the pseudonym Hearn -- perhaps partly standing in for the Otori heron but could it also be in honor of Lafkadio Hearn?

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:59 pm
by caliban
I'm still in the middle of the fourth one. There is supposed to be a prequel, too, coming at some point.

As with many cases, I think the first book, where you first discover the world, is the best. But I have enjoyed the series as a whole. I myself liked the way the author handled the fantasy elements -- they were more naturalistic (much as in George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice -- no laser beams shooting from people's eyes, no lightning coming out of fingertips. If I were to write a fantasy story/series it would be naturalistic in that fashion. My novel The Star-Casters is envisioned that way -- the world has fantastical elements -- some mind-blowing fantastical elements -- but no "magic" per se.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:11 pm
by Windwalker
Actually, the prequel is out in hardback. I looked at the jacket -- not surprisingly, Shigeru is the main character. I really liked him in the first book, a pity he had to go.

I agree with you about the subtle use of magic. I am halfway through two books that also create a totally believable world where elementals and magic exist in ways that appear natural. They are Carol Berg's Flesh and Spirit/Breath and Bone. Reminiscent (in a good way) of both Martin's and Kay's work.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:36 pm
by caliban
Windwalker wrote:Actually, the prequel is out in hardback. I looked at the jacket -- not surprisingly, Shigeru is the main character. I really liked him in the first book, a pity he had to go.

Good. Both Donna and I look forward to reading more of Shigeru. We also really liked him.

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:16 pm
by intrigued_scribe
These books also look very interesting; I may add them to my "to-read" list as well. :)

Heather