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 breat ...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. ...more
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
I'm stoked to get into this one. An English translation of the sequel is set to release on July 28th! Hopefully I can get to this before then.
Thank you to the publisher, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), for providing me with a copy to read and review!!! ...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 wor ...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
I seriously need to read more tranlated books. This was translated from the Japanese, and I think the translator did a truly excellent job because I never really had any comprehension issues while listening. Also a shoutout to the narrator, because her audio performance was fantastic!
Okay okay. The first 30 or so pages left me terrified*. There was no worldbuilding, I had no idea what was going on*, and I wasn’t accustomed to the writing yet. However, this quickly unfolded into one of ...more
As a disclaimer, my love for this story is likely biased. Its adaptation is one of my favourite things in the world, so I'm sure that affects my opinion. Saying that - I do prefer the animation over this novel, despite the anime's low budget & recycled sequences.
What I liked;
- Erin/Elin; I love her with my whole heart, and watching her from childhood to adulthood is an incredible experience. She's so compassionate, intelligent, and her respect & love for beasts are unconditional. Sh ...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 th ...more
So, basically, I am a sucker for everything this novel is. The last page or two, I was absolutely bawling my eyes out.
This is a truly unique and must read for all.
I am in awe of this book. True awe. I love the main character, Elin;
her Beast, Leelan (in truth, I am enamored with her);
& their relationship, their bond
,with all of my heart.
What an INCREDIBLE story. It has it all, for me.
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 us ...more
Okay, things to know. My brother, who is pretty good at Japanese (not just saying, he passed the top JLPT, so it’s kinda hard to test him further) read the first volume of this, has the second, and watched the anime of this (I think it’s under the title “Beast Player Erin”), so he knows the basic plot when I discussed it with him. This, as sites say, is a compilation of the first two volumes.
I’m shelving this as Young Adult, because I agree with Pushkin Pres ...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 thing...more
I loved this book so much the first time I read it that I had no choice but to reread it when I finally got the sequel in my hands - however, I was scared that the story wouldn’t live up to my memory of it & that it would disappoint me. Thankfully, I was so wrong. This story is incredible & I have no other way to describe it; from the very beginning I was overjoyed to be re-experiencing this incredible tale & knowing I have the chonky sequel ...more
Sparse, yet lyrical prose evoking powerful emotions. I only regret that I am incapable of reading the story in its original language.
An atypical fantasy. Very little of swords and sorcery.
But the characters...Elin, Joeun, Ialu, and Leelan...
I suppose they could be considered fantasy tropes or archetypes or staples...the special orphan, the wise and gentle mentor, the brave and self-sacrificing yet reluctant warrior and the sympathetic beast...but the author and translator c ...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, consi ...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 "T ...more