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Guardian of the Darkness: Moribito #2by Nahoko Uehashi
When her guardian and mentor, Jiguro, dies, Balsa feels compelled to return to her troubled homeland and seek out his family. Imagine her anger when she discovers that Jiguro is believed to be a traitor. Determined to prove his innocence, Balsa finds herself drawn into a web of treachery and deceit. Fast paced and action packed, Guardian of the Darkness is a real page turner. Recommended for readers in grades nine through eleven.
Synopses & Reviews
In the marvelous sequel to the novel (and Cartoon Network series) MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT, Balsa returns to her native land to fight a corrupt ruler and face her own demons.
Balsa returns to her native Kanbal to clear the name of Jiguro, her dear mentor, who saved her life when she was six years old. But what should be a visit of truth and reconciliation becomes a fight for her life when she learns that Jiguro had been a member of King Rogsam's personal bodyguard. After Jiguro fled Kanbal with her, Rogsam sent the other bodyguards after them one by one--Jiguro's best friends, whom he had to kill to protect Balsa. Now, with the help of two Kanbalese children, Balsa must unwind the conspiracy surrounding Jiguro and the mystery of the Guardians of the Dark.
"Having successfully protected young Prince Chagum in 2008's Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, Balsa, a spear-wielding warrior, ventures to her rocky homeland of Kanbal in this sequel. Once again, Uehashi immerses readers in the culture, traditions, mythology — even diet — of the populace, creating a full, captivating world. Upon her return, Balsa rescues a pair of siblings in the area's caves (home to the mysterious hyohlu, the guardians of the darkness). She is soon marked as a fugitive, but with help she still uncovers a wide-ranging plot involving her deceased mentor and a scheme to attack the underground kingdom of the Mountain King. Uehashi explores themes of family and honesty with rich prose and compelling characters. Powerful and loyal, Balsa is the core draw ('Although her hands were bound and she was held captive, Balsa's eyes were filled with a fierce light, like a fighter ready to enter the ring'), but the cast of secondary characters are well developed and intriguing in their own right. Add to that some intense spear battles and a gripping finale, and this growing series has something for everyone. Ages 10 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With the fast-paced action and intense world-building that has won praise for the first book in the series, "Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness" proves that going home can be the most dangerous adventure. Illustrations.
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