From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up—Though a sequel, Moribito II
stands on its own as an engrossing story of redemption, with seasoned warrior and bodyguard Balsa back in the center of it all. Seeking to relieve the emotional burden she had been carrying since her foster father died more than 20 years earlier, she returns to her native country of Kanbal. Just a few steps into her homeland, she rescues two children and duels a cave-dwelling mountain spirit. This encounter becomes a catalyst for two worlds to eventually mingle: the human one full of political conspiracy and a reawakened mythological one. Both come alive with the wonderful attention to detail, from descriptions of the geography, food, and social structure to the ceremony where humans come face to face with their gods. Fast-paced action scenes (frenzied but not overly violent) help lessen the weightiness of this epic, where themes like a boy's coming of age, family betrayal, and the consequences of unchecked ambition are also explored. So steeped in anime sensibilities that one could almost imagine commercial breaks between chapters, this series serves as a smooth transition between manga and straight narrative.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
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About the Author
NAHOKO UEHASHI is the author of ten novels in the Guardian series, which together have sold more than half a million copies. A professional anthropologist, she lives in Tokyo, Japan.