One Thousand and One Nights 8

October 19, 2009

Han SeungHee / Jeon JinSeok – Yen Press – 2009 – 11 volumes

I like this series so much!  This is why manhwa are awesome.  This and Goong and Let Dai and Adventures of Young Det and Oath to Love and Passion and DVD and Dokebi Bride and all those cutie series I like… all of it’s great.  But One Thousand and One Nights is particularly great.

The plot of the series takes precedence in this volume, and surprisingly, the confrontation between Shahryar, Sehara, and the Crusaders doesn’t work out quite like I expected.  Later, Shahryar’s brother’s plots get more convoluted and it looks like the Emrir is in on the whole “disgrace Shahryar”-thing that’s going on.  Shahryar is definitely down and out by the end of the volume, but as other characters happily point out, he’s earned it a thousand times over for his crimes.

Fatima is floating around through the story, and the “story” we get in this volume is not of the fictional-but-still applicable variety, but is about the pasts of Fatima, Shahryar, and Shahryar’s brother.  Interesting stuff, and it looks like there’ll still be a little bit to go next volume.

The thing I like best about the series… well, there’s lots of things I like, but most important is the relationship between Shahryar and Sehara.  There isn’t so much of that in this volume, and though the beginning is most heartbreaking, the fact that I still flew this volume at the edge of my seat says a lot about how much this series has to offer.  The army is still pursuing the Crusaders and is trying to recapture Jerusalem, and with that dose of reality, we also have Shahryar slowly losing his mind and falling from his position of infallible hero in his country.  But Shahryar seems to care little, and is in no position to care about much of anything by the end of the volume.

It’s biggest weakness is probably that almost all the characters are very evil.  The main love story in this volume plays out between the villains, and as much as you want to root for them, because the story is still good, the fact remains that things are not so good for Shahryar and Sehara in the present because of them.  Shahryar himself is quite a villain, though he’s mellowed quite a bit since we first met him.  Sehara and Jafar are the only really sympathetic characters, but Sehara has stepped out for a bit.

I waited a long time to read this volume because I knew I would want the next right after I finished.  I was right.  I’m really, really looking forward to the ending, which I won’t get to read until summer, but still.  Three more volumes!

Also, I’m not sure if I knew this before or not, but I was surprised by the author afterwards in the back, which notes that the writer and artist got married around the time this volume was published.  I’m surprised, only because you rarely see married couples working professionally like this, and when you do, the work never seems to be this good.

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