Monday, December 1, 2008

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi

An adventure fantasy set in a world much like Japan of the middle ages, starring a woman warrior. Basha is a bodyguard hired to protect a young prince from his own father, the Mikado, as well as from a monster who lives a parallel world. Skillful with her short spear and a master of martial arts, Basha needs all of her strength, courage and wisdom for this job.

It was the cover art, reminiscent of Hokusai's woodblock print, The Wave, that first drew me to this book. The story drew me in from Basha's spectacular initial saving of the prince, when he was thrown from a high bridge into the river (the scene depicted on the cover). In the author's note at the end, I learned that there are ten more tales in the series, that it is available in manga format and that it was recently made into an animated series for television. Good news!

Moribito is an excellent choice for a reader looking for something like Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otari.

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