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Grass for His Pillow (2003)

de Lian Hearn

Séries: Tales of the Otori (2)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,670384,099 (3.9)81
The mythical world of the Otori is unforgettable. Bound by the bargain he made with the Tribe, Takeo must join them and put his skills at their service. But their cruelty and injustice force him to try to escape. He is immediately sentenced to death by the Tribe and as winter draws in, he flees over the mountains to Terayama, helped by the outcaste, Jo-An. Kaede, devastated by Takeo's leave-taking, returns to her parents' home. She is pregnant with Takeo's child, but she and Shizuka decide to tell everyone that Kaede secretly married Shigeru and it is his child. She finds her house neglected and her estate almost ruined. Her mother is dead, her father is on the verge of insanity. Kaede is determined to educate herself and her sisters and save her domain. Then her father dies in mysterious circumstances: did he take his own life or was he murdered? She and her sisters face starvation in the coming winter, and Kaede enters into a pact with the strange, intriguing but sinister nobleman, Lord Fujiwara, in return for food and money. When Kaede learns that Takeo is still alive and where he is, she journeys to see him...… (mais)
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Inglês (35)  Francês (2)  Sueco (1)  Todos os idiomas (38)
Mostrando 1-5 de 38 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I enjoyed the two storylines of this book as they ran alongside each other. There's some great world-building going on as Hearn illustrates the rules of this society, revealing things about clans and the Tribe and all that. I found both of the protagonists stories to be equally compelling and they kept my interest, and I was so pleased with how strong Kaede was turning out to be. But then the romance came back into it and everything fell apart. It would be different if it was at least believable, but for me it was not at all. It's not just stupid kids and their impulses - it's lazy writing. Their characters, particularly Kaede's, completely dissolve for the sake of this improbable connection.

I enjoyed the middle of this book the best, but the beginning and the end are both soaked in the soppy, unrealistic, romance of two teenagers that should have far more important things on their mind than banging.

There's also some teasing that the author does that I find very frustrating as a reader. As we follow Takeo's story, there are constant references made to the fact that this is a story being told in the future. It's told from first person and the narrator often says "I would later learn . . ." or "I would come to understand . . ." It wasn't a problem the first reference or two, but after that it became exhausting and frustrating. This is also confusing when we jump to Kaede, as her story is told from third person and is devoid of these remarks.

I'm really waffling between two and three stars on this, but I truly was enjoying the book until the last two chapters so I will let it stand with three. ( )
  Raiona | Jan 28, 2021 |
After the emotional events of the first book, the two lovers in this Japanese Shogunate-ish fantasy are split up. He's on the road and she must defend her new position as the head of her household. Winter is coming, indeed, in this tragic -- and beautiful -- setting.

Tone and setting are where this book shines, but the main characters have really grown into their own even if their situations are rather horrible. Or you know their situations are only going to get REALLY bad soon, anyway. :)

These ARE tragedies. Tearjerker tragedies.

And damn... I hate to say this, but all these old-time Japanese are just THUGS. Murderous brigands pretending to be honorable. Just... wow. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Tales of the Otori
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
To read more reviews like this, check out my blog keikii eats books!

84 points, 4 ¼ stars

Quote:
“Death comes suddenly and life is fragile and brief. No one can alter this either by prayers or spells.”
Review:
Grass for His Pillow is a bit of a middle child. The Tales of the Otori series was originally planned as a trilogy. It moved a bit past that. So the events in this book were planned ahead of time, and nothing really happened.

The majority of this book featured recovery from the events in the previous book and planning for the events in the next book. A prophecy is introduced, centered around the main character Takeo. It outlines what is going to happen in the next few books. So this book doesn't have a lot that happens for the sake of it happening in this book. It feels slow, and it feels like it is going nowhere. Yet it feels intriguing while it does it.

Even more than the previous book, Grass for His Pillow is steeped in Japanese culture and history. There is just more of it than before. And it tells the beginning of a time of a massive shift in the country's history. This really is the strongest part of the series.

Yet it is also about the empowerment of women in a man's world. Kaede is just as much a main character as Takeo is. They split the narration between their stories. She may even be more important in this book than the rest of the series. Kaede is fighting against the traditions that hold women back. She is fighting to become respected as a person, because women are thought of more as commodities to own.

I liked it. I thought it was better written than the first, even. I just thought more could have been done to make this book feel like its own book. I'm enjoying the series. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
Second book in the Otori series (third including Prequel) tells of Takeo and Kaede after the death of Shigeru and the death of Iida. The tale is intriguing and well written so the reader is constantly wanting to continue and learn more. ( )
  ZachMontana | Nov 24, 2018 |
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The mythical world of the Otori is unforgettable. Bound by the bargain he made with the Tribe, Takeo must join them and put his skills at their service. But their cruelty and injustice force him to try to escape. He is immediately sentenced to death by the Tribe and as winter draws in, he flees over the mountains to Terayama, helped by the outcaste, Jo-An. Kaede, devastated by Takeo's leave-taking, returns to her parents' home. She is pregnant with Takeo's child, but she and Shizuka decide to tell everyone that Kaede secretly married Shigeru and it is his child. She finds her house neglected and her estate almost ruined. Her mother is dead, her father is on the verge of insanity. Kaede is determined to educate herself and her sisters and save her domain. Then her father dies in mysterious circumstances: did he take his own life or was he murdered? She and her sisters face starvation in the coming winter, and Kaede enters into a pact with the strange, intriguing but sinister nobleman, Lord Fujiwara, in return for food and money. When Kaede learns that Takeo is still alive and where he is, she journeys to see him...

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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)

813 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction

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