Guardian of the Spirit - Moribito, Bk 1 Author:Nahoko Uehashi, Cathy Hirano (Translator), Yuko Shimizu (Illustrator) 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 ... more »spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga . . . and the prince's own father.« less
This story has a lot going for it on the surface: characters, including strong women, plot, mythology, alternate history of medieval Japan, much like the Hearn series, Across the Nightingale Floor. But Hearn's series is really good. The problem with Guardian of the Spirit is the uninspiring writing style. As an english translation from japanese, the problem may be the translation...but we non-japanese readers will never know. I enjoyed it enough to finish it, but I imagine it is better in manga (comic book) form, where the graphic contribution would help the writing style. But I encourage anyone who likes the sound of the story to read it. It may be that another reader (someone of the intended reading age?) will be carried away by the events and really like it.