Himiko the beloved daughter of a chieftain in third century Japan has always been special. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe's shamaness had an amazing vision revealing the young girl's future—one day this privileged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all of the tribes. Book One revolves around the events of Himiko's early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events. Once again, Esther Friesner masterfully weaves together history, myth, and mysticism in a tale of a princess whose path is far from traditional.This is an epic tale about the life of Himiko, a young tribal princess in ancient Japan. The character actually did live, but obviously, her story presented here is total fiction. Still, it is interesting to me to take a historical person many of us have never heard of and make her come to life.
This story is also not one of on the edge of your seat adventure as we often get with YA that has magic within. It's more about how Himiko finds herself. How she grows and finds who she really is inside. It is the journey within and the courage it takes to stand up to those that you love for what is important. It is the difference between living and having a life. This is the reason I feel it will get mixed reviews. It isn't something that will immediately capture you, but will slowly make you a part of her life. Plus, not everyone likes a philosophy type of book as I tend to gravitate toward. Just keep that in mind.
I give this story 4 stars. I found it interesting and philosophically interesting. There is adventure, but it is more the journey of self that matters in this book. I feel this is very important for the books coming after this one. It is that journey that will make her the eventual queen of peace. I will warn you that the ending is abrupt (which I dearly hate) but it will end up making you want the next one to see what will happen. I really can't wait to see what will happen and I know I'll be reading that book as soon as I can get my hands on it.
Side note: as I said above she was a real being. There is a wiki page and a blog post from the Heritage of Japan on her. Just thought those of you who are interested in history might like to take a look. :)
|Click to see larger. Picture from Newton Graphic Science Magazine|
I received this eARC from the publisher and NetGalley. No compensation for my review was given.