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Sometimes I am a glutton for punishment. I didn’t enjoy much of the Otori tales trilogy before this, and yet I decided to read the epilogue. Well, I decided that long before I read the last two books of the trilogy. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while.

This book picks up 18 years or so after the trilogy ends. Things have gone very well for the Otori clan, but cracks are beginning to form on the edges that quickly give way to disastrous effect.

I have many of the same issues with this book that I had with the previous efforts. The characters and place names continue to be hard to follow. I don’t know how that can be after three previous entries in this world. Seventy percent of the book is slogging build-up, ten percent enjoyable climax, and twenty percent lazy cleanup.

I did enjoy where the characters ended up. It was a fitting end to the series. Unfortunately, most of the book was filled with tedious build up to the trip to the Mainland to meet the Emperor. The couple of chapters with the Emperor and the battle after were well done. Then Hearn sort of hit fast forward to wrap the story up quickly.

There’s one more Otori book on my shelf. The First Tale of the Otori, which is a prequel to the trilogy. It may just have to sit there for a while.

2 out of 5. See the rating system here