Across the Nightingale Floor

Tales of the Otori

Book 1
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An international bestseller, Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn. Don't miss the related series, The Tale of Shikanoko.

In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.

The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace. But unbeknownst to him, his father was a celebrated assassin and a member of the Tribe, an ancient network of families with extraordinary, preternatural skills. When Takeo's village is pillaged, he is rescued and adopted by the mysterious Lord Otori Shigeru. Under the tutelage of Shigeru, he learns that he too possesses the skills of the Tribe. And, with this knowledge, he embarks on a journey that will lead him across the famed nightingale floor—and to his own unimaginable destiny...

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Jun 3, 2003
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781101215623
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Alternative History
Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The long-dreaded war between Britain and France has finally begun.  French soldiers have landed on English soil and the British Army – and the Royal Sorcerers Corps, led by Lady Gwen – is moving to meet them.  But when an inexperienced major disobeys her orders and sends two hundred hussars to their deaths, Gwen accidentally uses her magic to permanently damage his mind and sparks a political crisis at the worst possible time.

  In the aftermath of the battle, Lord Mycroft suggests she leave Britain and head to the North American colonies, where British forces are anxiously awaiting a French offensive.  The local sorcerers have been poisoned, the local government is barely keeping the colonies under control, the slaves are mutinous and revolution against the crown is brewing.  The few locals with any known magical talent are untrained and certainly not ready for combat, but – if they can be trained in time – they may be all that stands between the colonies and defeat.

  Accompanied by Irene Adler and Raechel Slater-Standish, agents of the British Crown, Gwen heads to North America.  But it may be too late to save the colonies from a disaster that has been long in the making …


In Sons of Liberty, Gwen is sent from the relative safety of London to the colonies, where an undercurrent of revolution still abounds and intrigue and espionage are essential to keep the enemy at bay.  But who exactly is the enemy?  In the latest book in this exciting alternate history series, Christopher Nuttall expands Gwen’s horizons beyond Europe into the New World. 

It's 1830, in an alternate Britain where the 'scientific' principles of magic were discovered sixty years previously, allowing the British to win the American War of Independence. Although Britain is now supreme among the Great Powers, the gulf between rich and poor in the Empire has widened and unrest is growing every day. Master Thomas, the King's Royal Sorcerer, is ageing and must find a successor to lead the Royal Sorcerers Corps. Most magicians can possess only one of the panoply of known magical powers, but Thomas needs to find a new Master of all the powers. There is only one candidate, one person who has displayed such a talent from an early age, but has been neither trained nor officially acknowledged. A perfect candidate to be Master Thomas' apprentice, in all ways but one: the Royal College of Sorcerers has never admitted a girl before.
  But even before Lady Gwendolyn Crichton can begin her training, London is plunged into chaos by a campaign of terrorist attacks co-ordinated by Jack, a powerful and rebellious magician.

The Royal Sorceress will certainly appeal to all fans of steampunk, alternate history, and fantasy. As well as the fun of the 'what-ifs' delivered by the rewriting of our past, it delights with an Empire empowered by magic - all the better for being one we can recognise. The scheming and intrigue of Jack and his rebels, the roof-top chases and the thrilling battles of magic are played out against the dark and unforgiving backdrop of life in the sordid slums and dangerous factories of London. Many of the rebels are drawn from a seedy and grimy underworld, while their Establishment targets prey on the weak and defenceless. The price for destroying the social imbalance and sexual inequality that underpin society may be more than anyone can imagine.
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