Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness - Yuko Shimizu, Nahoko Uehashi, Cathy Hirano I initially watched the anime, which covers only the first book. When I realized this second book was going to take place in Kanbal, Balsa's homeland, and not include any of the characters introduced in the first book, I was a little slow and unmotivated to get started with this. Another thing that made it hard for me to get going was knowing that the other books in this series have not been translated into english, and as far as I know, they possibly never will be.

Still, I loved the book once I got going. Balsa is intelligent and a character to admire. This book did a great job shedding light onto her past, with so many unexpected revelations about it. And the ending was so poignant. It didn't pull any punches with the complicated feelings between she and Jiguro, who sacrificed the lives of eight of his closest friends to protect Balsa as she was a child. I'm now sad again that I've finished the book. She's heading back to New Yogo, to see Tanda again, and I would very much like to go with her. I wish they would translate the other books.