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Reviews by Contributor: Uehashi, Nahoko (3)

The Wind is My Kin

The Beast Player  (Beast Player, book 1)

By Nahoko Uehashi  

4 Jul, 2020

Translation

0 comments


Nahoko Uehashi’s 2006 The Beast Player, published as Kemono no Sōja Ichi: Tōda hen, is the first volume of her Beast Player series. Cathy Hirano provided the 2018 English translation.

Despite entrenched distrust between the Ao-Loh and the Aluhan, two peoples of the same land, Elin’s Ao-Loh mother and her Aluhan father fell in love and married. Elin was the result. Elin could have been a barely tolerated freak, grudgingly accepted by the Aluhan thanks to her mother’s job tending the Toda (the great lizards the Aluhan ride into battle, serving1 Lyoza’s spiritual leader, the Yojeh). Instead, her life takes an altogether different direction.

It begins with mass death among the Toda. 


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To the Place I Belong

Guardian of the Darkness  (Moribito, book 2)

By Nahoko Uehashi  

6 May, 2020

Translation

2 comments

1999’s Guardian of the Darkness (translated by Cathy Hirano) is the second volume of Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito series of secondary-universe fantasy novels. It’s the most recent of the lengthy series to be translated into English and also a demonstration of how poorly I defer gratification. I just reviewed the first book in the series and I could not wait …. 

Twenty-five years ago, Balsa fled Kanbal with her foster father, Jiguro. The malevolent king whom the pair were fleeing, is long dead, as is Jiguro himself. With the adventures of the first volume behind her, Balsa decides that the time has come to return to her homeland.

Balsa retraces the subterranean route she and her foster father used to escape Kanbal. It’s an unnecessarily difficult route that has an unintended benefit: she happens upon fourteen-year-old Kassa and his nine-year-old sister Gina, just in time to save them from a hyohlu. Exploring the caves is a well-established test of courage for Kanbalese youths. The siblings barely survive. But at least they have had a salutary lesson in prudence. 

It just so happens that the pair belong to the Musa clan, as did Jiguro1.


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For Service and Devotion

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit  (Moribito, book 1)

By Nahoko Uehashi  

29 Apr, 2020

Translation

2 comments

Nahoko Uehashi’s 1996 novel Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (Seirei no Moribito ) is the first of twelve Moribito young-adult secondary-world-fantasy volumes.

Wandering bodyguard Balsa has no desire to become entangled in the affairs of royalty. Despite this, when she sees the carriage conveying Second Prince Chagum tumble from Yamakage Bridge, she dives into the raging river and saves the young boy. 

There are consequences.


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