Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I wasn't that surprised to find that the author had lived in Japan for several months doing the research to create the detailing for this triology. The detailing, feel of the seasons, the imprint of the castles and the caste reactions were lovely and solid. Everything from food to architecture at least felt real. I liked that the author states with the forward that it really isn't Japan; but that any mistakes or offenses taken are the author's fault.
The story itself was pretty solid, especially with the consequences of certain actions; but the romances were overwrought and glossed over. I don't mean just not-explicit as I didn't expect anything explicit, but it's like the love thing JUST IS without any relation or reason with the personalities involved other than it Just Has To Be.
The magical aspects of the male protagonist are consistent, but they're still... magical and pseudo-explained with genetics, which I could suspend my disbelief for that. He still had to make hard choices, powers or not, and on the most part they don't buy him the things that are really important to him and had consequences to them that were good and solid. So I was okay with that.
I rather like both protagonists, though I'll admit that I like the female one better AFTER this book, in the preview of the second; but then I always prefer my women competent. This is clearly the "growing up" book, and I'm hoping to see how they use their new abilities in the next book.
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