I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
This fantasy is a hardcover edition that was published by Philomel Books on April 16, 2011 and has 435 pages.
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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Sorcerer in the North, The Siege of Macindaw, Erak's Ransom, The Kings of Clonmel, Halt's Peril, The Lost Stories, The Outcasts, Invaders, The Hunters, The Royal Ranger, Slaves of Socorro, Scorpion Mountain, The Tournament at Gorlan, The Ghostfaces
Tenth in the Ranger’s Apprentice fantasy-adventure series about Will Treaty and his mentor, Halt.
I’m worried. The cover says this is the Final Battle. I sure hope this doesn’t mean it’s the last story in the Ranger’s Apprentice series!
It’s lucky for Horace and George that Will, Halt, Alyss, Evanlyn, and Selethen are so close, as they bring their particular insights and skills to the party as well as the training regime they observed among the Toscans.
I absolutely adore this series. It promotes independence, forethought, consideration, and decency. Kids, adults and animals are treated well. In this particular story, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, the emperor has such a wise way of living and treating people that Horace absorbs and considers. I so look forward to how Horace uses these new insights in the next installment!! …*hint*…*hint, hint*
The core group has split up. Horace and Gregory have gone to visit the Emperor of Nihon-Ja while Alyss, Will, and Halt are in Toscana reviewing Toscan troops and negotiating a treaty between Toscana and Arridi with the help of Selethen.
Unfortunately for Horace, there seems to be more ill will towards the emperor’s plans than anyone had suspected when Lord Arisaka and one of his allies storms the palace. Unfortunately for the ambushers, the royal party has Horace.
Will Treaty has some mad skills and has been a Ranger for some years now. Halt has been Will’s mentor ever since Will signed up and together they form a formidable partnership. Alyss is a Courier, skilled in diplomacy and negotiation…and in love with Will. Princess Cassandra, a.k.a., Evanlyn, is in love with Horace and desperate to sail to his aid.
Selethen, an Arridi leader, negotiating on behalf of the Arridi Emrikir, is a friend of Will, Halt, Alyss, and Evanlyn (see Erak’s Ransom, 5 (7 in publishing order)).
Horace, a.k.a., Black Bear in Nijon-Ja, is the Knight and Swordmaster destined to replace the Battlemaster for Araluen. Nearly unbeatable, Horace has an affinity for battle and is in Nihon-Ja with George Carter acting as liaison and diplomat to learn about their weapons and battle styles.
Emperor Shigeru is a forward-looking ruler interested in protecting all of his people, not just the Senshi who believe all others are nothing and treat them as such. Naturally, with such a threat to the order of their world, as well as pique about being passed over for the position as emperor, Lord Arisaka betrays his vows and attacks while the emperor is at his Summer Palace.
The Cover and Title
The cover is perfect for this story although I’m not sure what the arch of embossed metal is about. Otherwise, the Asian warriors slashing about with their katanas as they cross the rickety bridge strung over the chasm reflect one of the battles occurring in The Emperor of Nihon-Ja.
The title is also very appropriate since Horace is visiting the emperor.