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Seirei no moribito bunko

Bunko edition cover of Seirei no Moribito

Moribito (守り人) is a series of Japanese fantasy novels written by Nahoko Uehashi. The series currently consists of twelve volumes. The first novel in the series, Guardian of the Spirit, has been adapted into numerous media, including a radio drama, manga series, and an anime adaption.

Scholastic released the first novel, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, in English in June 2008 under the Arthur A. Levine Books imprint, with a translation by Cathy Hirano. The second novel, Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness, was released in May 2009. Both novels featured illustrations by Yuko Shimizu. Due to unsatisfactory sales of the novels in the United States, the English publication of the series has been suspended indefinitely.

The series primarily follows the lives of the itinerant spearwielder, Balsa, and Chagum, the prince of New Yogo. The Moribito (守り人, "guardian") stories focus on Balsa's story, while the Tabibito (旅人, "traveler") stories feature Chagum after Balsa has succeeded in saving his life.

NovelsEdit

Book Kanji title Romaji title Original title, literal translation Notes
Publication date ISBN English publication title
Summary
1 精霊の守り人 Seirei no Moribito Guardian of the Spirit 1 Volume
July 1996
March 2007 (Bunko)
ISBN 978-4-03-540150-6
ISBN 978-4-10-130272-0 (Bunko)
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
When Balsa saves Prince Chagum of the New Yogo Empire, a boy with a mysterious spirit living inside him, she is hired to protect him from the assassins his father has sent after him and the dangers the spirit inside him brings.
2 闇の守り人 Yami no Moribito Guardian of the Darkness 1 Volume
January 1999
June 2007 (Bunko)
ISBN 978-4-03-540210-7
ISBN 978-4-10-130273-7 (Bunko)
Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness
Balsa returns to the country where she was born to face her tragic past, but consequences of that past, and the secret that lies buried under the mountains, make her task a difficult one.
3 夢の守り人 Yume no Moribito Guardian of the Dream 1 Volume
May 2000
December 2007 (Bunko)
ISBN 978-4-03-540230-5
People start becoming trapped in their dreams. Tanda's niece, Chagum, and the First Queen all dream of a flower with ties to Torogai's past. Only a man with a supernatural singing voice can save them.
4 虚空の旅人 Kokū no Tabibito Traveler of the Void 1 Volume
July 2001 ISBN 978-4-03-540270-1
Chagum, now the crown prince of the New Yogo Empire, and Shuga are sent bearing greetings to a southern country, Sangal, for the new king's coronation ceremony. However, a black shadow is reaching towards Sangal and the would-be-king of Sangal is fatally wounded.
5 神の守り人 Kami no Moribito Guardian of the God 2 Volumes
January 2003 (both volumes) ISBN 978-4-03-540280-0 (God's Appearance, 来訪編, Raihō-hen)
ISBN 978-4-03-540290-9 (Return from the Hard Journey, 帰還編, Kikan-hen)
When Balsa encounters a brother and sister being sold by a slave trader, she impulsively takes the girl, Asra, away when she notices the girl has a strange aura. However, Balsa comes to wonder if the girl is a divinely appointed guardian or a child of disaster as a dark secret of the child begins to emerge. As Asra grows fearful of her power, she draws closer to an awful god while her powers are felt in the Kingdom of Rota, now divided in a civil war between the north and south. Balsa must protect Asra from the forces that threaten the girl while eluding Shihana, an undercover agent from Rota who pursues them.
6 蒼路の旅人 Sōro no Tabibito Traveler of the Blue Road 1 Volume
April 2005 ISBN 978-4-03-540310-4
Following the events of Kokū no Tabibito, Sangal is being engulfed by forces from Talsh, which now draws nearer to the New Yogo Empire. In order to protect his country, Chagum must make a perilous journey alone.[1]
7 天と地の守り人 Ten to Chi no Moribito Guardian of Heaven and Earth 3 Volumes
January 2007 (Volume 1)
January 2007 (Volume 2)
February 2007 (Volume 3)
ISBN 978-4-03-540320-3 (The Kingdom of Rota, ロタ王国編, Rota Ōkoku-hen)
ISBN 978-4-03-540330-2 (The Kingdom of Kanbal, カンバル王国編, Kanbaru Ōkoku-hen)
ISBN 978-4-03-540340-1 (The New Yogo Empire, 新ヨゴ皇国編, Shin Yogo Ōkoku-hen)
Balsa sets off for the kingdom of Rota to rescue Chagum, the Crown Prince of New Yogo, hitherto believed dead. To protect his homeland from ruin, they undertake a dangerous quest to reach the king of Kanbal to forge an alliance between Rota and Kanbal to end the influence of the neighbouring nation of Talsh, which threatens New Yogo. With Balsa's help, Chagum returns to his homeland after a Talsh attack takes many civilian lives. While Chagum leads New Yogo against the Emperor, Balsa finds her old friend Tanda injured by the war.
8 流れ行く者 Nagare Yuku Mono The Wanderer 1 Volume
April 2008 ISBN 978-4-03-540360-9
A collection of prequel stories to the series: "Uki Momi" (浮き籾), "Rafura" (ラフラ), "The Wanderer" (流れ行く者, Nagare Yuku Mono), and "Kan no Furumai" (寒のふるまい). Tanda, a sensitive eleven-year-old boy, adores Balsa, who is drifting about with her "stepfather", fleeing from a plot against them. They try to find out about a curse in the village and discover the painful secret of a dead wastrel.
9 炎路を行く者 Honōji wo Iku Mono Those Who Walk the Flame Road 1 Volume
January 2012 ISBN 978-4-03-540380-7
A collection of two spin-off stories. The first is "The Flame Road Traveller", which tells the story of Talsh Empire secret agent Hugo Alayutan as a young man. The second is "My Fifteen Year Old Self", which follows the story of Balsa the spear woman.

The series also includes Balsa's Table (バルサの食卓, Barusa no Shokutaku) (ISBN 978-4-10-130278-2), a non-fiction volume that includes cooking recipes with photos of the cuisines described in the series; and Complete Guide to Guardian of the Spirit (守り人」のすべて, Moribito no Subete) (ISBN 978-4-03-750140-2), a extensive guidebook with background information on the setting and characters and a new short story Light of Spring (春の光, Haru no Hikari) written by Nahoko Uehashi that focuses on Balsa and Tanda's relationship.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Fan-Translated Book Summaries

External LinksEdit

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