Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?
In the kingdom of Kouka, there is a coddled princess called Yona who, on her 16th birthday gets the shock of her life when her cousin (and her love) Soo-Won commits regicide to ascend the throne. This volume mainly sets up the relationships between the characters – the close bond between Soo-Won and Yona and Hak Son (her bodyguard and heir of the Wind Tribe), who have been playmates since childhood, as well as setting up the politics of the kingdom in broad strokes. Yona is obviously unaware of the intentions of her father, the King, and his refusal to let her marry Soo-Won (no I don’t think a consanguineous marriage was the issue here), and it seems Soo-Won’s claims about his motives have some weight. In any case, (having seen the anime) I am excited for what is to come. The artwork of Yona of the Dawn is done in a regular shoujo style, with lush details for Yona especially, and is beautifully rendered even in action scenes.
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