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Andrea K Höst

Australian writer of science fiction and fantasy.

Guardian of the Spirit (Moribito Series #1)

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit - Nahoko Uehashi, Cathy Hirano Moribito is the story of Balsa, a spear-wielding roving bodyguard-for-hire, and Chagum, the second son of the land's Mikado. Chagum had become possessed by something, and attempts are being made on his life. Balsa saves him from one of these, and is hired to keep him alive.There's a strong fable tone to this story. It's as much about the merging of cultures as it is the trials the two leads endure, and any change they go through.The characters have a moderate amount of depth, but we don't really get to know them to any level of complexity in the time given.Interesting, but not a compulsive read for me. It's curious to see the decisions made in translation. While words like "Mikado" are not translated, others like (presumably) "youkai" are substituted poorly with "goblin". I generally also feel that western titles don't nearly capture the complexities and nuance of suffix honorifics and that such translations would be better served following the lead of manga and simply including a foreword explaining the suffixes rather than omitting them.