February 10th, 2010

Teyla Green Tree

(no subject)

The YA book I've been reading is Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi. It's book one of a series, was originally published in Japanese, has been very popular, and is now available in English translation. The first book won an ALA Batchelder award in 2008.

It's set in a fantasy world based loosely on feudal Japan, where a woman who works as a bodyguard ends up saving a boy prince, then discovers that he may be the host for an egg laid by a demon who reappears every hundred years. There's action, martial arts, strong female characters, fantasy demons and spirits, a well-realized world, and also a lot of complex themes. In the past, the dominant Japanese-like culture came in and colonized this area, and has been systematically subsuming the native culture, to the point where the original culture is losing the knowledge of its myths and legends; something that is about to come back and bite everybody in the ass when the hundred-year-demon shows up again. Everything and everyone is more complicated than they seem at first, there are misunderstandings and misguided attempts to protect the kingdom that leave people who should be on the same side working against each other, and so on.

If you liked Avatar: the Last Airbender, or good YA fantasy of any kind, you should definitely check this out. And the covers are gorgeous.

More links:

Stina Leicht's AggieCon report

Retro Future Art from Dark Roasted Blend

The helptheproject charity auction is still in progress. There are autographed books, food, jewelry, or you can get your tax return done. Plus fanfic and fanart and all kinds of fun stuff.