Tomasu is out wandering the mountains where his village is located, as he has countless times before, but this time when he comes back, a warlord has destroyed it and apparently killed all the inhabitants. Tomasu makes his escape after embarrassing the warlord and earning his eternal enmity. A kind stranger on the trail Tomasu takes out of the village helps him get away and the fates of the pair become entwined.
Kaede is a hostage in another warlord's castle. She's been treated horribly but after a violent incident, she is finally allowed to live with the family rather than the servants. She is soon after told that she will marry a lord whom she has never met. She reluctantly sets out to meet him.
The four stars are more for promise than actual delivery. This first "episode," as it's labeled, is really just setup.
I liked Tomasu, or Takeo as he comes to be known, and Kaede. They're gathering a group of strong supporting characters around them as well. The stage is set for a lot of intrigue and action.
I love the feel of this little book. It has a great cover and it's just the right size to be easily held and hauled around. I love books that are small.
I'm interested to see where all of this goes. There's a magic system that is more hinted at than seen and I can't wait to see more of that. I want to see the woman Kaede becomes; I think she'll be formidable. Takeo is well on the way to his full power but I still can't wait to see more of him. The setting of not-quite-Japan is fascinating as well.
My biggest complaint is that the book seriously just stopped. My copy has a "preview" of the next episode, so when I turned the page fully expecting more of this book only to find that it was finished and all those lovely unread pages were for the next book, I was upset.
I reserve the right to change my mind with the next installment, but so far, so good. Be sure to have the second book ready when you finish though.
Read an excerpt.
Find author Lian Hearn on her website.
Buy Across the Nightingale Floor: The Sword of the Warrior at
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