Comics / Manga

Yona of the Dawn: Volume 12 manga review

By Leroy Douresseaux
April 1, 2020 - 11:53

Yona of the Dawn Graphic Novel Volume 12 cover image

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess in the Kingdom of Kohka.  Her father, King Il, dotes on her, and her faithful guard, Son Hak of the Wind Tribe, protects her.  Yona even cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, her cousin Lord Su-won of the Sky Tribe.  However, everything changes for Princess Yona on her 16th birthday when the king is killed and Hak is blamed.  Soon, Yona is on the run with Hak, but she is determined to reclaim her throne.  To do so, she begins a journey to find the Four Dragon Warriors.

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 12 (Chapter 66 to 70) opens the morning after “the Fire-Quelling Festival.”  Yona and company continue their sojourn in the Kai Empire and are surprised to find “Fire Tribe” soldiers from Kohka in the area.  Yona learns that Ri Hazara, a warlord from the “Sen Province” of the Kai Empire, has invaded Kohka and that he is apparently headed for “Saika Palace,” the seat of the Fire Tribe's territory.  How will Fire Tribe Chief, General Kang Su-Jin, react to this affront?

Meanwhile, because of the invasion, Yona decides that she and her companions must return to Kohka.  After they secretly enter Saika, Yona is confronted with deciding a course of action.. and there are no easy answers... only more questions.

[This volume includes the bonus chapter, “Upon His Back,” and the special chapter, “Gija.”]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Yona of the Dawn manga is a shojo manga version of Chinese historical romance and quest-adventure.  I am a big fan of both shojo manga and manga that is set in historical and fantastical versions of the Middle Kingdom.

Yona of the Dawn Graphic Novel Volume 12 involves intrigue and conspiracy, and there is little time for romance.  Creator Mizuho Kusanagi opens the narrative up to the wider setting of her series, focusing on disparate elements of the land, its people, and its politics.  The romance and interpersonal drama don't really have a place in the five chapters that comprise Vol. 12.

There is still some character melodrama, and JN Productions' translation and Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane's English adaptation convey that in ways that will grab the reader's imagination.  Lys Blakeslee's lettering flatters Kusangagi's pretty art while connecting readers to a graphical soundscape that transports readers to the world of Yona of the Dawn.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of historical romantic adventure will want to try the “Shojo Beat” title, Yona of the Dawn.

8.5 out of 10

Rating: 8.5 /10

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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