Released on 04 September 2008.

#1 in series
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Across the Nightingale Floor

For ages 12+
4.06 based on 24820 ratings & 1315 reviews on

2002 Short-listed

The CILIP Carnegie Medal


In his palace at Inuyama, Lord Iida Sadamu, warlord of the Tohan clan, surveys his famous nightingale floor. Its surface sings at the tread of every human foot, and no assassin can cross it. But sixteen-year-old Otori Takeo, his family murdered by Iida's warriors, has the magical skills of the Tribe – preternatural hearing, invisibility, a second self – that enable him to enter the lair of the Tohan. He has love in his heart and death at his fingertips . . .

Lian Hearn's stunningly powerful bestseller, Across the Nightingale Floor, is an epic story for readers young and old. Set in a mythical, feudal, Japanese land, a world both beautiful and cruel, the intense love story of two young people takes place against a background of warring clans, secret alliances, high honour and lightning swordplay.

The first novel in the epic Tales of the Otori series, Across the Nightingale Floor is followed by Grass For His Pillow and Brilliance of the Moon.

In the media

Across the Nightingale Floor was described to me by the young man in Borders bookshop as a "Japanese Harry Potter, only better". In fact, it's a different beast entirely. Much darker, much sharper, much less predictable.
Daily Telegraph
Across the Nightingale Floor remains quite simply the best story of magic, love, sex, revenge and suspense to have come this way since Philip Pullman.
Independent on Sunday