How do you review a practically perfect book anyways? Here’s my (very lengthy) attempt at trying. The review for the first book in the series is here. Sorry for all the book-related posts lately, I’ve been kind of on a reading spree since I reserved a million books from the library.
Title: 闇の守り人 (Yami no Moribito) / Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness
Author: 上橋菜穂子 (UEHASHI Nahoko)
English Translator: Cathy Hirano
Illustrator: 二木真希子 (NIKI Mayuko;JPN ver), 清水裕子 (SHIMIZU Yuko;ENG ver)
Volume: 2nd out of 10
My Rating: 9.8/10
Summary: The second book of Uehashi’s Moribito series features again Balsa as its protagonist, but is set in a different fantasy country than the first book, and have no other recurring characters from the previous volume. This time, Balsa revisits her home country in order to face her past, and eventually entagles herself in a series of events that may result in the collapse of a country. Since this installment barely refers to the events of the first book (and when it does, a brief recap of the previous one is given), the two books are mutually exclusive in content.
Review: Wow, where should I start? I read this book with a critical mindset, enjoying everything that the novel had to offer while asking questions and looking for holes along the way, but even with such vigilance, I was wholly unable to find any plot holes, incoherent explanations, unanswered questions, or needless plot devices. Uehashi really, truly weaved an airtight illustration of her intricate fantasy world, and as a result this second book is even better than the first one. It’s really hard to believe that an author can provide such a lush picture of their own imagination while still taking the care to address every matter and leave nothing unexplained, and also provide plausible, fitting, logical and complete explanations for everything as well. Nasu should learn from this book, seriously. Compared to the other fantasy children/youth novels I’ve read before, such as Deltora Quest or Harry Potter, Moribito II surpasses both so much in intricacy, depth, and maturity that it’s going to make it really hard for me to go back to reading less substantial books than this.