The Tales of The Otori by Lian Hearn (Gillian Rubenstein)

I’ve just finished* reading / re-reading the whole of the series to date – three original books, a sequel, and the prequel.

Worlds away from the Stephanie Meyer books, this is a young adult series that I can’t put down and stands up to extra reads. Intrigue, battles, romance, ninjas, the tales have them all. Strong female characters that are important to the plot in their own right and have actual conversations without men in them.

The final book in the series, The Harsh Cry of the Heron, is by far and away my least favourite. It’s as though she had the plot worked out but was tired of the characters. There was potential there for a lot more stories, but perhaps she didn’t want to write them. That’s understandable. To a certain extent I’m just upset by how the plot all ended up too.

So, when the prequel, Heaven’s Net is Wide, appeared in the shops recently I was wary. I wanted to read it, but didn’t have high hopes. I wasn’t disappointed though. I was back with the characters I loved in the land that I loved, learning more about them. I didn’t plan to, but I ended up reading the whole series again from start to finish. It was totally worth it.

*As I write this, a week or so before it’s being posted