Sarah Maddaford's Reviews > The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10)

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10) by John Flanagan
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This is the fastest I have ever listened to an audio book. It was due back at the library and on reserve... Needless to say I might have enjoyed it more with a more careful listen, but it would be difficult for me to go back and listen again.

I do worry that Flanagan was taking advantage of the popularity of anime and Japan with this age group in order to ensure that his last book sold even more than his previous ones. He didn't really need to since the series is a big success, but going to a Japan like country seemed a bit of a stretch for me. It was interesting to hear Keating do the accent though and I definitely liked the new characters.

What I didn't like was Alyss arguing with Cassandra (who I refuse to call Evanlyn especially since it would have been easier for the Nihon-jan to say Cassandra) over Will. Not only was it apparently not a problem for the princess (which Alyss as a diplomat should have been able to see), but it was demeaning to both girls to fight over a man (even one like Will) like that. Their fights were ridiculous and not at all befitting either of their stations or their ages. And of course, Will was entirely oblivious and no one saw fit to enlighten him thinking it was funny that he didn't realize that they were fighting because of him.

Also, while I liked Selethen, his inclusion in the adventure seemed somewhat contrived. It made sense that Gundar and his crew stayed behind with the ship, it would have made sense for Selethen to go back to his home. Granted where they would have gotten a second experienced commander for their army I don't know, but it was a bit forced.

There is quite a bit of violence, but it is somewhat distant. Aside from one character you know well, you don't know any of the ones that die. The wounded and dead become numbers in this book more than the others. There may have been a kiss or two, but I don't really remember and it was definitely nothing more than that. There were probably a couple of minor curse words but no f-bombs or anything I would consider excessive.
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