Snow White with the Red Hair, Vol. 1 by Sorata Akizuki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A romantic retelling of a classic fairy tale about a beautiful herbalist and a lovestruck prince.
Shirayuki is an herbalist famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself! Unwilling to become the prince’s possession, she seeks shelter in the woods of the neighboring kingdom, where she gains an unlikely ally—the prince of that kingdom! He rescues her from her plight, and thus begins the love story between a lovestruck prince and an unusual herbalist.
Warnings: kidnapping, threat of human trafficking
While this manga series is not exactly a direct retelling of Snow White, there are certain elements that do show up in early chapters. Shirayuki escapes into the neighbouring kingdom of Wistalia from the idiot prince of her kingdom, Tanbarun, and meets Wistalia’s younger prince on the way, making friends with him and his two attendants. As a ‘commoner’ friend of the prince, however, things aren’t easy, and she seeks to be the court herbalist in order to fulfil her dream of helping people out and also being closer to him. Other forces still see her as a social climber, which is why she is even more determined to rise of her accord. There’s also the fact that her unusual red hair make her a target, and a novelty they want to possess.
The story is cute, obviously, and humorous and dark in turns. There’s also the fact that sometimes the chapters seem to skip ahead, so noting how much time has passed becomes difficult as well as discerning what happened in the interim. It also has less courtly politics than I had expected, with only one Lord against her presence. However, the romance is shaping up well, and well, that is the main feature of the series, so it works?
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media LLC, via Edelweiss.
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This edition releases on May 7, 2019