Thursday, August 31, 2023

Dawn of the Arcana, Vol. 1 by Rei Tōma


Unbelievably short, which is why it's getting a four instead of higher. I had a Kindle credit and wanted some romantasy, so I got myself this book. Dawn of the Arcana is pretty lightly world-built. It's one of those fantasy novels where the focus is more on the relationships between the characters rather than the actual world.

Basically, there are two island kingdoms sandwiched on top of each other: Senan and Belquat. After years of tension and genocide, they decide that the best way to patch things up is a marriage of convenience between Princess Nakaba and Prince Caesar. But Nakaba has red-hair which is considered the mark of a commoner, as all royals have *ahem* silky black tresses. So straight out of the gate, people are like, "That bitch can fuck right off to hell, no questions."

Nakaba is a bit of a Mary Sue but there's a quiet strength to her that I liked. And Caesar is that pretty classic icy-asshole-bad-boy-with-a-soft-spot-for-the-heroine manga hero, which I obviously don't mind. It seems like there's going to be a love triangle, because the heroine has a servant called an "ajin," which is basically a semi-human warrior/servant class that has animal tail and animal ears, and supernatural senses.

The art is pretty and even though this was short AF, we get some kissing scenes, a tournament, and several knives-to-throat moments. I would probably get more from this series when I get more Kindle credits, because I am curious to see what treacherous things are going to happen next.

4 out of 5 stars

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