Review Blog

Feb 15 2011

Spirit Hunter by Katy Moran

cover image

Walker Books, 2010. ISBN 9781406317282.
Best suited for: 11-18 (easy-to-read language, but complicated and sometimes adult themes). Highly recommended. The story takes place around AD 665, in China/Central Asia. The Empress of China is determined to get rid of the opposing force, the Horse Tribes, so she sends an army across the desert to destroy them, along with her young Shaolin spy, Swiftarrow. Swiftarrow also has another mission: he must find a new recruit for the empress, a young barbarian to train in the way of Shaolin. (Being Shaolin is what you and I would call being a ninja.)
Meanwhile, a young female shaman of the Horse Tribes is having dreams, dreams in which there is a great battle and her people are slaughtered. Asena must somehow save the tribes and stop the bloodshed. But how?
I enjoyed this book for many reasons, most of which are listed here. It was well-written and extremely well-researched. The characters were realistic and well-developed. The language was wonderful; the scenes were described well and the story flowed along excellently. The dialogue was mostly perfect and suited the individual characters and the book had a great story-line.
I love how in books like this, everything seems so real. While I was reading I found that I could actually imagine the scene very clearly in my mind, and I think, because it was so well-researched, that what I was imaging might not have been so different to the actual reality that was China almost one and a half thousand years ago. The characters spoke and thought like they were from that time-period and I couldn't pick out a mistake in the scenery while I was reading it. It would be an excellent book to read for anyone interested in old-age China.
Informative, exciting, clever and lovingly-crafted are the words I would choose to describe this book.
It was a lot of fun to read and I know I will revisit it many times in the future.
I highly recommend this book.
If you like this book you should read: Dragonkeeper Series by Carole Wilkinson.
Rebecca Adams (student)

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