Requiem of the Rose King Graphic Novel Volume 11 cover image
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Requiem of the Rose King is loosely based on William Shakespeare's plays, Henry IV (1591) and Richard III (1592), and this manga 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. 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.
As Requiem of the Rose King, Vol. 11 (Chapters 46 to 50) opens, the House of York reigns over England. The King of England, however, is a child, Edward, the son of Edward IV, who is recently deceased. Ruling in his stead as “Regent,” is Lord Richard, but Richard's true aim is to be king.
To those ends, Richard and his ally (lover), Lord Buckingham, begin eliminating their enemies. One enemy won't go down with a fight, and that is Lady Elizabeth, the widow of Edward IV and the mother of the young King Edward. She knows, however, that to defeat Richard she will need the favor of Lady Cecily, Richard's mother, who hates him and calls him a demon.
THE LOWDOWN: The Requiem of the Rose King is one of my favorite manga, and I think that it will be for the duration of its run. I did not read Vols. 8-10, but this is one series that is easy to follow... and is such a delicious read.
Requiem of the Rose King Graphic Novel Volume 11 is one of the series' best volumes. It may be the most pivotal because Richard's secret is revealed. This is a spoiler alert in case you have not figured this out already, dear readers: Richard's body has the features of both the male and female genders. Requiem of the Rose King creator, Aya Kanno, plays out the revelation of this to his rivals with the flare of a great dramatist.
Jocelyne Allen's translation makes Requiem of the Rose King the delicious, sumptuous reading feast in English that it is. Sabrina Heep's subtle lettering captures the nuances as well as it does the histrionics. On to the next volume.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Aya Kanno and of historical dramas will want to try Requiem of the Rose King.