Book Review – The Emperor of Nihon-Ja

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10)The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole series. The characters are charming, the dialogue is amusing and well developed, and the stories are well thought out, involved and keep you interested until the very end.

The best thing about this series, is that while it is about younger people, they aren’t all complete brainless dolts that you want to smack upside the head and tell to grow up. They all act with maturity and forethought and it’s a breath of fresh air in some circumstances, for those of us who wonder how such stupid teenagers – who grow up in a lot of fiction – will ever survive to adulthood.

I particularly love Hault – the grizzled old veteran that’s seen it all and wasn’t even impressed the first time. I can relate to Will in some ways, but I think Hault is truly the star of the series. He even gets the girl, just like a real hero should, eventually, when he wants to settle down, but not really settle down and still go on adventures.

This book wasn’t my favorite one in the series, though it was close. I love how each book explored a different culture, different practices and developed new and interesting strategies for overcoming the weaknesses they had discovered. This book was no exception, and since I’m partial to all things Japanese and Samurai in general it was a special treat for me.

There is one thing that I still can’t relate to – what’s with all the coffee?? It seems like any time they are stopping, or talking or sitting, or really doing anything someone asks for coffee. And if there isn’t any coffee, everyone is sad for the rest of the scene wondering why there isn’t any coffee. This book is probably the least coffee centric since there isn’t any coffee where they are, but man – everyone sure likes their coffee. Starbucks needs to open some stores down in whatever fantasyville this story was set in.

In conclusion – this book, like all others in the series, kept me awake long after bed time wanting to read just a little more rather than get any amount of sleep in preparation for the next day. That’s always my judge for what’s a good book and what isn’t – does it make you want to stop whatever else you’re doing and read some more? This series does.

Favourite Quote –

“It’s a term of great respect.”
~Various places

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What did you think?