In light of the Far East Night the teens held two weeks ago (yes, this is a bit belated, alas), I wanted to include a book recommendation for “Across the Nightingale Floor” by Lian Hearn for readers interested in Japan, ninjas, romance, and a little bit of magic. Even better, it’s the first book in the series!
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…
While the story doesn’t exactly take place in Japan, and there are definitely some fudges with Japanese history, it is an interesting take on medieval Japan – a historical fantasy, if you will. It’s a lot of fun and very good for reluctant readers with its mix of action and suspense.