The Beast Player
Elin's family has an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom's army. So when some of the beasts mysteriously die, Elin's mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last ...more
The first 30 pages are endless drama drama drama that made this seem like a high stakes but kind of generic YA fantasy. I almost stopped reading.
Then it pivoted into a brilliant book about how humans relate to animals. There's wonderful soaring writing about wild animals and animals in captivity and how caring ...more
This follows a young girl from the age of 10 to 18 as she learns about a world she spent most of her life sheltered from and the beasts who inhabit it.
If you love Studio Ghibli, you will love this book.
If you want a culturally rich young adult fantasy, ripe with Japanese mythology, you will love this book.
If you love animals, you will love this book.
This is one of those books that broke all the "rules" and somehow made magic. For a fantasy novel, it is more character-based than your usual sword and dragon novel. Beast Player begins with a prologue that I don't think was really a prologue. I have certain expectations for prologue: that it will divulge pertinent world-building or take place years before the actual story events, or it will feature a narrator who only appears in the ...more
Nahoko Uehashi ,is in fact a famous teen fiction writer in Japan and is also famous for the "Moriboto " series of books.
This is a ...more
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*
In this world, giant water serpents called Toda are trained to fight in the royal army and protect the country's border. The defending kingdom is protected by giant bird like creatures they call the Royal Beasts. Neither country realizes the suffering they cause these animals. A young girl named Elin is orphaned ...more
It follows Elin, whose mother is killed at the beginning when the serpents under her care die. (yes aholes much!) The rest of Elin's family is nothing to have and she is sent away.
There was a lot of bee talk. Complicated creatures. But I liked it, Elin is 10 and she needed something stable. I liked her time there. Will say no more.
Then there is a school and beasts. This country ...more
Okay, things to know. My brother, who is pretty good at Japanese (not just saying, he passed the top JLPT, so its kinda hard to test him further) read the first volume of this, has the second, and watched the anime of this (I think its under the title Beast Player Erin), so he knows the basic plot when I discussed it with him. This appears to be the complete story and not just volume 1 of the first book of the Japanese volumes. At the very least, its the first ...more
The Beast Player is an extraordinary tale that follows a young girl named Elin who has the uncanny ability to work with animals that have been deemed dangerous and un-tameable. We first meet her at a very young age at a pivotal moment in her life. Her mother has been sentenced to death after losing a herd of Toda (giant worm like...more
Her adventure starts, when she discovers her mother has a special ability and can communicate with animals.
I'm so conflicted about this book.
On the one hand, it was very unique, with well developed characters, a gripping plotline and the writing was beautiful.
On the other hand, the info dumping really bugged me...
I understand that it was all extremely relevant information, but it just didn't hold my attention.
And the fact ...more
I didn't like this at all, and DNF'd it. This was buddy read with Average Joe Reads, who soldiered through and was relieved when it was over.
This book isn't great as an introduction to Japanese Literature, however if you are a fan of Studio Ghibli then you may love this. Some of my best friends adored this and they are well-versed in Japanese and Asian Literature.
Somethings I liked:
🌹 Unique Concept
🌹True to Japanese Literature & felt authentic
🌹 The ...more
This is now sharing the place of my favourite book with Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott.
I was sent a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Trigger Warnings: this book contains mild gore & racism directed at ...more
I stood on the edge of that abyss between man and beast and played my harp for you, checking each note, one by one, to see if it would reach you.
The Beast Player is the story of Elin and her bond with Beasts. For years the law between man and Beasts is simple, they will never be loyal to us, they will never be tamed, they will always be wild.
This book went completely in a different direction to where I thought it would go, I expected the typical ...more
The Beast Player is a story about how young Elin gets involved in the caring of the Royal Beasts after the execution of her mother in a horrific manner. The story is told through points of views of multiple characters, ...more
Then you get fifty pages about beekeeping. And I fell in love with the story of the growth of a remarkable child, curious and quiet and determined as she embraces her kinship with animals. As she grows to adulthood, this kinship is noted by nefarious players in a burgeoning civil war, and ...more
I am so glad that more international YA books are being translated for an American audience. Many American books are sold overseas, but we do not receive in the same amount that we send out, so Im glad that this imbalance is slowly changing. Its why I was excited to read The Beast Player as Ive never read Japanese fantasy from an Japanese author, and honestly, I am the better for it.
Ive only recently come into really reading fantasy, so the slow starts to some ...more
It was a struggle to get into this book, but it took off once I powered through the more introductory type chapters. Translated works are usually pretty iffy for me - tone is an important part of a novel for me, and sometimes translations end up feeling robotic. This was the case a little for The Beast Player, but its still one of the better translated books Ive ever read. And the plot more than made up for the slightly stilted dialogue.
This book dealt with ethics, I ...more
It was a struggle to get into this book. Translated works are usually pretty iffy for me - tone is an important part of a novel for me, and sometimes translations end up feeling robotic. This was the case a little for The Beast Player, but its still one of the better translated books Ive ever read. And the plot more than made up for the slightly stilted dialogue.
This book dealt with ethics, I guess you could say. What animals are capable of, what rights they have in ...more