Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn (vol.3)

 

Synopsis:

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Yona and Hak set out on a journey to find a priest who can see the future. After they get severely injured from falling off a cliff, a boy named Yun and his guardian Ik-su nurse them back to health—and Ik-su happens to be a priest! When Yona tells him that she wishes to protect the lives of those who are precious to her, what path will Ik-su show her?

Rating:

3/5

This volume is all about world building and setting up Yona’s quest for the first portion of the story. We’re introduced to some new characters, one of which I don’t think we’ll see again for a very long time. The pacing in this volume was a little weird. After the dramatic ending of the last volume I was hoping some of that would bleed into this one, but it does in parts. The story picked up some good momentum when Yona learned of the path that she had to take, when she was given her quest by the gods, but the momentum sputters a bit after she accepted her task. The flow gets interrupted by some back story for one of the new characters. I understand why we needed that so that we could get a quick introduction to the character and develop a caring thought for them, but it felt like it was shoved into the story unnaturally—like it was supposed to be somewhere else. Then Yona completes the first step in her quest rather easily after just beginning. I understand that some time had passed between starting the quest and getting to the first task, but it still felt like all the pieces fell into place rather quickly with very little fuss.

But overall it was a really good volume. The backstory was really cute, though I think it should’ve been treated as an extra short story rather than its own chapter. But the backstory and the characters involved provided some nice world building, giving some important information to both Yona and the readers. This volume also includes some really cute moments between Hak and Yona, allowing their relationship to grow and change before our eyes. I love how blind Yona is and just how much Hak tiptoes the line. And there’s still some more development in Yona’s character, she’s becoming less of a naïve princess and more of a strong heroine, though she still has a ways to go yet. And I think the single best thing that happened in this volume was at the end, one of the characters mentions that they have this radar-like ability to find the other members of their team and the author puts in a joke about how convenient that power is to the story. If the mangaka didn’t put that in there as a jab at themselves and other similar stories, then I’ll eat my hat because that bit was just too perfect not to be a planned jab!

Details:

Title: Yona of the Dawn (Vol. 3)

Chapters: 12-17, plus a bonus story

Written by: Mizuho Kusanagi

Artist:  Mizuho Kusanagi

Translation/Adaptation: JN Produtions / Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane

Publisher:  VIZ Media LLC

Published:  December 6th, 2016

Pages: 192

Genre: Manga, Shojo, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance

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