In this volume, the world gets a little bit bigger as we meet two outsiders from the Xing, a country across the Great Desert. First, we have May Chang, a young girl who practices something like alchemy but with daggers to make her transmutation circles. Then, there's Prince Ling Yao, who faints frequently from hunger, and travels with two extremely capable body guards. Both have come to Amestris seeking the secret of Immortal Life. Ling Yao refuses to let Edward out of his sight because he wants to learn Alchemy and suspects Ed knows more than hey's saying about the Philosopher stones. Meanwhile, after receiving repairs in Rush Valley from Winry, the brothers and Winry decide to travel to Central City, where they learn of a friend's murder. We also get an inside glimpse into the world of the homunculi and of the person they call Father.
In previous chapters, there had been very little mention of other countries outside Amestris, so I really enjoy seeing the world expand. Not only do we get people from Xing, but there's mention of the ruins of an ancient civilization, Xerxes, which may peak readers' interest. This introduction of characters from Xing is the beginning of a new story arch that weaves in with the constant of Ed and Al trying to get their bodies back, and it provides the series with more depth and complexity. While we are expanding the world, we are also delving deeper into the darkness of the Homunculi, their plans, and how they were created. The illustrations of the Homunculi and their practices are a bit gruesome and dark, which creates a nice foil to the comedy drawn in to Edward and his expressiveness.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3, vol 4, vol 5
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure
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