Lian Hearn writes...

Guide to Pronunciation

Vowels are pronounced in the following way (as in British pronunciation):

‘a’ as the ‘a’ in ‘father’

‘e’ as the ‘e’ in ‘met’

‘i’ as the ‘i’ in ‘macaroni’

‘o’ as the ‘o’ in ‘plot’

‘u’ as the ‘oo’ in ‘book’

‘ai’ as in ‘eye’ - except in the surname Arai, which is A-ra-i

‘ii’ as in ‘week’

‘uu’ as in ‘blue’

Consonants are pronounced in the same way as English:

‘g’ is always hard as in ‘get’

‘j’ is soft as in ‘jetty’

‘ch’ as in ‘church’

‘z’ as in ‘zoo’

‘ts’ as in ‘itself’

Each syllable is pronounced separately:

O-to-ri Ta-ke-o


Shi-ra-ka-wa Ka-e-de

Mu-to Ken-ji


A-ra-i Dai-i-chi

Ii-da Sa-da-mu



Emphasis is usually placed equally on each syllable.


Lian Hearn writes...

Between the Darkness and the Light

I’ve written five books in the Tales of the Otori series. It started as a trilogy (Across the Nightingale Floor, Grass for his Pillow and Brilliance of the Moon) but I realised I had more to say about the characters and have written one book (Heaven’s Net is Wide) that ends where Across the Nightingale Floor begins...

Across the Nightingale Floor

A land of incomparable beauty torn by civil war An ancient tradition undermined by spies and assassins A society of rigid castes and codes subverted by love Takeo is raised among the Hidden, whose beliefs forbid them to kill. When his family fall victim to religious persecution at the hands of Lord Iida of the Dairyo clan, he is rescued and adopted by the warrior, Shigeru, of the Otori clan...

Brilliance of the Moon

A beautiful, haunting evocation of a time and place just beyond the reach of an outside world, the third instalment of the Tales of the Otori transports us once again to a medieval Japan of Hearn s imagination, a land of formal ritual and codes, harsh beauty and deceptive appearance...