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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko…
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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

by Nahoko Uehashi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Moribito (1), 守り人 (1)

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English (35)  Italian (1)  Japanese (1)  All (37)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I had originally watched the Moribito anime and loved it. When I saw this book at the bookstore I was very excited to read it. This was a great book. It’s a wonderful balance of history, magic, action, and coming of age story. I really enjoyed it. This is a book that is great for all ages as well. The whole story is set in a sort of feudal Japan.

I really love that this book features an older female warrior as the main character (Balsa is in her 30’s). Balsa loves fighting and protecting; being thrown into the role of caretaker for a eleven year old boy is a huge change for her. I also love that her love interest is pretty much the opposite of her in every way (bookish, wise, and patient).

This book is very much a coming of age story for Prince Chagum. He learns how to do things himself and experiences the broader world. There are elements of magic in here as well. Prince Chagum is carrying the egg of a water spirit in his chest and must safely see it through to its birth or die.

Politics are touched on as well. We see how history and myth are written by the conquerors and the true history may be lost with the people who were conquered.

The book itself is beautifully put together. The pages are thick and well bound and the illustration and ink color throughout is amazing. This is one of those books that is soo much better in paper format and definitely one you’ll want to keep around.

Overall this was an amazing story and I would love to continue the Moribito series. This book is a wonderful blend of history, fantasy, action, friendship, and coming of age. I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy fantasies set in feudal Japan. ( )
  krau0098 | Oct 8, 2017 |
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is an English translation of the first book in a Japanese YA fantasy series following a warrior woman named Balsa. In Guardian of the Spirit, Balsa is hired to protect twelve year old Prince Chagum, who holds the egg of the water spirit. If the egg is destroyed before midsummer, then a great drought will descend across the land.

Balsa is pretty darn awesome. She’s a thirty year old bodyguard who dedicates her life to saving others. But somewhere along the way, fighting got in her bones and now she doesn’t know how to live differently. It’s also nice that she wasn’t the only important female character in the novel.

The world building of Guardian of the Spirit was very well done. There’s two groups of people, one who conquered the other two hundred years back. The people native to the region have begun to forget their myths and legends, which creates trouble for Balsa and Chagum when they are trying to get information about the water spirit.

The book also contains illustrations! It was divided into several sections, and in the division between each section, there was a two page illustrated spread. The artwork was gorgeous. I love it when books incorporate art like this.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a short and fairly simple adventure story. There are some underlying complexities, especially in Balsa’s characterization and some of the ideas about how those in power shape the stories that are told, but it is a book that could easily be read by a middle school audience. The prose can be a bit simple, and it feels a tad obvious in places (too much telling and not enough showing?). That being said, if you’re older and want a lighter fantasy story, I think you would still enjoy Guardian of the Spirit.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jan 7, 2016 |
Not bad, but I really hated them mentioning over and over that Tanda and Balsa should get married. Further review later. ( )
  Maverynthia | Jun 2, 2015 |
My best description of the book would be "Otori Lite". It has a great plot line, and the writing is exceptional. It lacks the density of the Otori books but is a must read for younger readers. For older readers "Tales of the Otori" is a must. ( )
  Gglhack | Feb 5, 2014 |
Whilst an intriguing idea and a fascinating setting, the story itself seemed rather lacklustre. The plot moved along at a reasonable place, but the action scenes lacked tensions and the characterisation seemed rather flat. I cannot help but wonder if it lost something in the translation. The folklore was interesting, but dealt with in a way that felt like it was all just being explained to the reader, in a "this is what happened" kind of manner. Whilst the setting was interesting - I loved the rare descriptions of the landscape and the buildings, I felt the experience could have been heightened if the book were a little longer and a little more fleshed out. As it was, I felt little empathy for the characters - and thus experienced virtually no tension throughout the final climactic scenes. Somewhat dissappointing.

Read for my "U" author as part of my "Reading the Alphabet" challenge.
( )
1 vote LemurKat | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nahoko Uehashiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hirano, CathyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shimizu, YukoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At the moment the royal procession reached Yamakage Bridge, Balsa's destiny took an unexpected turn.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545005434, Mass Market Paperback)

You've never read a fantasy novel like this one! The deep well of Japanese myth merges with the Western fantasy tradition for a novel that's as rich in place and culture as it is hard to put down.

Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire. Then she rescued a boy flung into a raging river -- and at that moment, her destiny changed. Now Balsa must protect the boy -- the Prince Chagum -- on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to its source in the sea. As they travel across the land of Yogo and discover the truth about the spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga . . . and the prince's own father.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The wandering warrior Balsa is hired to protect Prince Chagum from both a mysterious monster and the prince's father, the Mikado.

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