Customer Reviews for

Harsh Cry of the Heron (Tales of the Otori Series #4)

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    DON'T READ IT

    I finished the first three books in a matter of days, being completely infactuated with the action, characters, skills of the tribe, and the mentality of the warrior class, among other aspects. Unfortunately, Hearn has turned instead to a not-so-exciting book which is almost entirely about intrigue. The book features characters who you think are going to become important later in the plot, and are excited by their appearance, but, to the disappointment of the reader, just fizzle out and disappear. There are also an obsene amount of people killed off for no other apparent reason than that Hearn was merely sick of writing their names. The first 400 pages of the book set up a situation which could have lead to at least another 300 pages of excitement, and then a conclusion. Where Harsh Cry falls short is that instead of this 300 pages, everything is packed into 106 some of this is action, which was nice after 400 pages of boredom. In the last 15 pages of the book, Hearn attempts to conclude what should have been an incredible story, but the reader gets the feeling that with about 5 pages left and lots left to sum up, conclusion is not going to happen smoothly. Instead, the whole book is summed up by a three page letter, a literary device used when an author cannot think of a way out of their own story. All in all, this was a terrible book with only the fact that I am not reading it any longer going for it. Sufice it to say, I will not be picking up the prequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2006

    A Short Falling for Lian Hearn

    I am a huge fan of the first three books!!!! However this one was sadly dissapointing. Although it is a well written book, it has none of the intimate, epic charm of the others. The story itself is wrapped up way to fast and many side plots are ended to quickly. Many parts of the book seem as if they were written in a hurry and a lot of the characters (very likeable characters!) are dispensed of before they are able to do anything important. The ending to many side stories are left unsaid, like Shizuka's, what happened to Hagi, Hiroshi's, the Tribe's... I am also extremly dissapointed with some of the characters. Kaede was the worst! What happened to the strong, brave personality? She is reduced to a jealous housewife that only cares about having a son and the fact that she has 'cursed' twins. I was really upset that her character was so different. Also, Takeo loses alot of his confidence and becomes way to peaceful to be a strong ruler. He becomes unreasonably so, and that is one of the major factors that leads to his demise. I am also upset at how Shigeko acts at the end of the story. Did she learn anything from her parents? On a whole there were waaayyy to many untimely deaths and problems between characters. To many characters stories were left unsaid. All the characters end up either unhappy, or dead. And the book is generally really depressing at the end. There are many stories that you could say have tragic endings (Shogun is a perfect example) but this one takes it to a whole new level.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2006

    Excelent Saga

    once again, Lian Hearn impress me much. This book is the end of the tales of Otori. I can't wait to finish it up. Hearn take us to the feudal Japan mix with the story of love, passion, destiny, betrayal, and also, the art of fighting and deep philosophy about life and living with the other. Like what uncle ben's spiderman says : great power comes to great responsibilities. That's Takeo has to do with his power that across from sea to sea. excelent!! Bravo Otori, Bravo Takeo, Bravo Hearn!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    A FINAL EPISODE AS COMPELLING AS THE FIRST

    The fourth and final episode in the popular Tales of the Otori series is every bit as compelling and exciting as its predecessors (Across the Nightingale Floor, Grass for His Pillow and Brilliance of the Moon). Author Hearn has captured our imaginations with his stories set in medieval Japan where sorcery, martial arts, and warfare hold sway. Those who heard Brilliance of the Moon will remember that hero Otori Takeo and Shirikawa Kaeda are now wed, but they have scant time together as he sets off to secure what he considers their birthrights. They remember the holy woman's prophecy: 'Your lands will stretch from sea to sea, but peace comes at the price of bloodshed. Five battles will buy you peace, four to win and one to lose.....' Now, with The Harsh Cry of the Heron sixteen years have past and there has been peace throughout the Three Countries that he brought together. However, his unrelenting enemies are bent on destruction. It seems that all Takeo and Kaeda worked to establish may be destroyed. Perhaps even more frightening to Takeo is another prophecy - 'that he can only die at the hand of a member of his own family.' Devastation threatens from without and perhaps from within. The Harsh Cry of the Heron is a bit of a surprise for fans as Tales of the Otori was introduced as a trilogy. That surprise is more than a pleasant one when the text is read by two such talented performers as Julia Fletcher and Henri Lubatti. Julia Fletcher is a multi talented actress known for her work on animated works and video games. She's especially effective when the oeuvre is fantasy as she has a wonderfully resonant low voice that fully captures other worldly characters. The equally gifted Henri Lubatti has numerous film and television roles to his credit - a powerful companion voice for Ms. Fletcher.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    Over fourteen years have passed since Otori Takeo defeated his enemies and united the Three Countries. Prosperity and harmony are everywhere, but underneath the surface calm, Takeo¿s foes rage as they treacherously plan to avenge their previous defeat. Kikuta Akio and his assassin, followers of the Tribe, want a return to their notorious past that Takeo stopped his brother-in-law Lord Zenko wants to usurp power the Emperor wants to end Takeo¿s independence by dispatching deadly warlord Saga to do whatever it takes and finally the seer prophesizes that his unrecognized illegitimate son will one day kill him. Akio raises Takeo¿s teenage son Hisao by training the lad to hate his father. Takeo has never told his beloved wife Kaede that he has one more offspring from a previous relationship instead they raise their daughters in love with Shigeko being his acknowledged heir. To reconcile with the emperor, keep his family safe, and to insure Shigeko inherits his legacy and rule, he offers to Saga his daughter in marriage as he knows the forces of military, assassins, and magical destiny will soon converge on him. --- The forth Otori tale is a terrific historical Feudal Japan thriller with some fantasy elements. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action. However, it is the cast that makes the tale and the full saga is one of the best of the decade as the audience obtains a taste of political maneuvering to survive. Readers will want to read the quartet, but also know that THE HARSH CRY OF THE HERON can stand alone, a tribute to Lian Hearn¿s talent. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 24, 2009

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    Posted March 12, 2009

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    Posted January 5, 2010

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    Posted January 29, 2011

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