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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shinob II: Struggle for Balance by Sessha Batto

What price freedom…

…when fear and self-loathing threaten to upend the hard fought struggle to find meaning and safety in a world fraught with danger.

Yoshi seeks time and space, only to find himself once more at the mercy of power mongers and despots. When Makoto finds him, Yoshi is broken in more than body. Near death, his spirit recedes to find safety within, locking out all who care.

They say time will heal…

…but the path to acceptance is never easy, the roadblocks many and none will emerge unscathed as Yoshi embarks on a … Struggle for Balance.
Yoshi is one of the most beautiful characters I have ever had the priviledge of reading! It takes a beautiful soul to write Yoshi with the caring and sensitivity shown by Sessha Batto, and from what I know about Sessha, Yoshi definitely came from the heart. I am dedicating this review to a friend who I believe emulates Yoshi's in soul and spirit. I hope that his journey in life only brings him the benefits of that beautiful soul and not the trials that Yoshi had to face. Thank you "Kush" for sharing your light with me. 
When I read the first Shinobi I fell in love with Yoshi's beautiful spirit and the exquisite agony and ecstacy of his story. I was not sure what more there was to be said in book 2, but I was more than happy to be able to find out more about Yoshi and his story. Once I picked up the tale I was again caught up in the beautiful Japanese tapestry that Sessha Batto weaves.

Yoshi's selfless spirit and giving nature once again lead him through a destructive maze of insidious characters that would one again do him unconscionable harm. This very nature that leads him down the path pf destruction has, however won him powerful friends and allies that will stop at nothing to deliver him from the pain and suffering he finds himself in.

Here comes my warning; The Shinobi books are graphic and vivid in excruciating detail! Yoshi deals with issues of self hatred and loathing after years of abuse. There is further and much more stark abuse in this second volume to the Shinobi series and if you are squemish about non consent and mutilation scenes in any way I will say this is probably not for you. Also be aware that the Shinobi series is a homoeroic series, but I will add that the love in these books is beautifully depicted, with reverence and sensitivity. It was a love that made my heart ache, and it was this that endeared me so fully to this series.

Sessha Batto's writing style conveys simple beauty and she easily transports me to a very traditional, though modern day Japan where the way of the ninja is still observed and quiet traditions are still prevalent.

Struggle for balance absolutely gripped me for the entire novel length! I picked it up and never put it down until it was done. I am so looking forward to more wonderful works by Sessha Batto!


Sessha Batto said...

Wow - this is the kind of review an author only dreams of ;) You've turned my day around!!

DragonLady said...

I can't agree with you more. This is an incredible tale of survival and ultimately life-affirming.

CaliGirlReviews said...

Sessha, your happiness with the review made my day :)

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