Amir has been sent to a neighboring clan to be married off to one of the sons there. Karluk, her husband, is twelve, and she’s twenty, Amir tries to be helpful with the family, offering to help cook, and she even hunts some rabbit to make a special stew. She has many talents and even makes her young husband a coat out of some cloth and the rabbit skin. She’s adjusting to her new life fine when, unbeknownst to her, her family decides that they would better benefit from her being married off to a different clan. Meanwhile, Amir and Karluk go on a trip to find Karluk’s nomadic uncle to deliver a special dagger sheath. After their trip, Karluk gets very sick with a cold, and Amir worries endlessly over his health.
The age difference in this relationship turns things a little upside down. Normally with these types of narratives, the man is older and the female is much younger. I can’t quite place whether Amir feels a sense of romantic love at this point or if she is more of a mother figure to Karluk. Either way, she does care about him, and the family treats her well, so those portions of the arranged marriage trope are not present. The beauty of this series, other than the art, comes in the historical look into the marriages and the culture of the nineteenth century nomadic people that are somewhere between China and Russia. The one flaw for me with this story is that it moves at a pretty slow pace and doesn't give a whole lot of reason to keep reading. If the reader doesn't care about Amir's family trying to reclaim her, they might not be to keen on continuing the series.
The art is absolutely stunning, on a similar level to Witch Hat Atelier. The character's clothing is intricately detailed and every shot of Amir shows her stunning beauty. The landscapes, even the horses, are all very detailed and beautiful. This is a superb example of the quality some mangaka put into their work.
There is one scene with some nudity, but it’s not sexual. Amir strips down for sleep and instructs Karluk to do the same so they can share body heat, otherwise they’ll likely freeze to death. In doing so, we see Amir’s chest.
Sara’s Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
ISBN: 9780316180993 (Hardcover)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Historical Fiction, Family
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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