Loosely based on two plays by William Shakespeare, Henry IV (1591) and Richard III (1592), Requiem of the Rose King is set in medieval England. The House of Lancaster (represented by a red rose) and the House of York (represented by a white rose) both covet the throne of England. The struggle of these two houses is the “War of the Roses.” Into the house of Richard of York is born a third son, a sickly child that he names “Richard” after himself. Richard dreams of his family ascending to the throne, a throne that will one day be his.
Richard seems poised to become King; success is imminent. As Requiem of the Rose King, Vol. 2 (Chapters 5 to 8) opens, he is defeated and in despair. He is the prisoner of Margaret, the wife of King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster and the real political power behind the throne.
Richard's son, Edward, launches a counter strike, with his father's trusted ally, the Earl of Warwick, at his side to stiffen his spine. Meanwhile, Young Richard, sensing that his father is in trouble, rides across the land on a mission of vengeance.
THE LOWDOWN: The Requiem of the Rose King manga is a strange duck, primarily because its lead character, Young Richard, is so strange and also is quite different from the other characters. He also apparently has both male and female characteristics.
According to series creator, Aya Kanno, Requiem of the Rose King Volume 2 is the ending of what is the prologue and is also the beginning of the main story. That does make sense, as a number of plot lines come out into the clearing of the narrative. Kanno also makes it obvious that Richard has a number of potential suitors, and honestly, that ought to be quite a hot mess and a reason to read this series.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of Aya Kanno will want to try Requiem of the Rose King.