Author: Nahoko Uehashi
This book is what happens when you mix anime style ninja/samurai guardian tropes with classic touches of fantasy.
I would call this a fun read for someone who is looking for a lot of action in their fantasy without getting bogged down in the details that can plague newcomers to the genre. It drips out the explanations just enough for you to easily follow along without scratching your head trying to connect it to an earlier info dump.
The story begins with our guardian, Balsa, who tasks herself with protecting a young prince named Chagum. Along the way, you learn the history of Balsa, the prince and the mysterious great egg dwelling inside of him that he must bring to its source. Given this was meant for a younger audience (teen fiction according to the library label), it will be familiar territory… although there were a few surprises.
There’s enough intrigue in here to keep you turning pages, although the action sequences (which you wait patiently for) don’t quite live up to the hype that’s built around them. Perhaps this is just me being nitpicky, but when you’ve read enough incredible action sequences from a variety of texts, your expectations are a little high.
Still, the book was fun enough to have a permanent home in my classroom library. I hope my students will dive into it and discover this fun world for themselves.