ARC Review: The Water Dragon’s Bride, Vol. 5 by Rei Toma

The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 5The Water Dragon’s Bride, Vol. 5 by Rei Toma
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Release date: April 3, 2018

A modern-day girl gets whisked away to a strange land where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god!

Asahi is in danger because people want to use her to get the water dragon god’s power. She doesn’t want anyone to be hurt because of her, so she goes with the water dragon god and Subaru to pay a visit to the emperor. However, in exchange for his protection, the emperor makes an unexpected demand!

Warnings: attempted sexual assault

Continuing from the previous storyline of her being in danger because of being the priestess of the Water God, Asahi is almost kidnapped again by the bandits. When they realize that it would be unsafe for her in the village, she sets out with Subaru and the Water God to the capital to ask the Emperor’s favor. The child Emperor is yet to grow into his position, and asks for her hand in marriage in return for his protection. Another storyline is about her caretaker and how much he cherishes her and his origins.

While the story is still progressing onwards with Asahi trying to adjust to life, there is also the underlying wanting that she yearns to go back to her parents. Tsukihiko understands that wanting, and is also very protective of her because he knew the previous such traveler quite well. For her sake, he is even prepared to give up his life, if it means she can continue to live happily. I liked this part of the story, because the other person who provides her with protection, the Water God – well, his storyline is more about humanizing him and the probable romance between them. But for Tsukihiko, she is a sort of atonement for the resentment he held.

This was, however, also a very fast-paced story arc, with events just happening without letting it develop, and filling up the story. I felt each of the storylines could have done with more exploration of the characters and their feelings about it. Overall, it is a satisfactory installment in the series.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media, via Edelweiss.

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