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Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness

Written by Nahoko Uehashi

Translated by Cathy Hirano


For many years, through countless fights, Balsa has survived. The evil King Rogsam tried to kill her when she was only six. Eight assassins pursued her in the long flight that followed. But her mentor, Jiguro, protected her until his death, and then Balsa became a bodyguard herself, helping other people survive the challenges they face.

When she returns to her native country of Kanbal, she hopes to see Jiguro’s family and her own for the first time in many years. But what should be a simple visit of truth and reconciliation becomes a fight for her life when she learns that King Rogsam framed Jiguro for the deaths of the eight assassins—as well as a crime that threatens the very existence of Kanbal. With the help of two Kanbalese children, Balsa must unwind the conspiracy surrounding Jiguro and the mystery of the Guardians of the Darkness, before it’s too late.


An ALA Notable Book for Children, 2010
Mildred L. Batchelder Honor for Translation, 2010
USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2010

⋆ "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." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

“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.... Both [human and mythological worlds] 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.... [T]his series serves as a smooth transition between manga and straight narrative.” - School Library Journal 


Purchase Options
Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2009
Fantasy
ISBN: 0-545-10295-2
Price: $17.99 / $22.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 272
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Japan Foreign Rights Center
Rights Available? yes


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