Comics / Manga

Requiem of the Rose King: Volume 3 manga review

By Leroy Douresseaux
January 11, 2016 - 21:20

Requiem of the Rose King Volume 3 cover image

Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”

Requiem of the Rose King is a manga that is loosely based on two plays by William Shakespeare, Henry IV (1591) and Richard III (1592).  Set in medieval England, the story centers on a conflict between 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, and their struggle is called 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 of York is dead, but his eldest son, Edward, is now king.  As Requiem of the Rose King, Vol. 3 (Chapters 9 to 12) opens, King Edward decides to take a wife.  He is enthralled by the alluring Elizabeth Woodville.  What Edward does not realize is that Elizabeth's husband was a Lancaster ally and was killed in a recent battle.  She believes that when she becomes Edward's queen she can have her revenge.

Meanwhile, King Henry VI, the deposed Lancaster king, travels through the land on his way to meet Young Richard, with whom he is smitten.  While he is gone, his conniving wife, Margaret, decides that the time is right for a change.

THE LOWDOWN:  Early in its narrative, the Requiem of the Rose King manga comes across as being strange.  That is in large part because of the lead character, young Richard (the future Richard III), who has unusual physical traits.  Also, Richard seems to have an aura of darkness – everything about the character is omens and portents.

Series creator, Aya Kanno, said that the second volume of the series was both the ending of the prologue and the beginning of the main story.  Requiem of the Rose King Volume 3 moves fully into the main narrative, leaping into a cauldron of courtly intrigue, and the relationship between Henry VI and young Richard seems like a boys' love affair.  This series is an engaging read, if you can keep up with all the plots and machinations.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  Fans of Aya Kanno will want to try Requiem of the Rose King.

Rating: A /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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