Monday, May 23, 2011

Manga Monday: A Bride's Story

A Bride's Story (Volume 1)
Kaoru Mori

A Bride's Story is a new series published by Yen Press, from the creator of the excellent manga Emma.  Like Emma, this new book is historical fiction, although Mori turns in Victorian Era England for 19th Century Asia, giving readers a look at the Silk Road, where a young woman named Amir is betrothed to a husband in a neighboring village.  Amir's husband, Karluk, is only twelve-years-old, a full eight years younger than she is.  It's a shock initially, but very quickly, she becomes an integral part of the family and is in love with her new life.  As with Emma, Mori is very detailed in her historical facts and the items she draws, especially when it comes to carpentry, customs, and how the nomadic tribes live.  She tells her stories cinematically, beautifully drawing out the scenes with her masterful art.  She gives just as much time to every day occurrences as she does big events, really letting readers live and breathe in this culture that she's thrown them in.  If we've learned anything from Mori's previous work, it's that she doesn't do anything halfway.  She creates an array of fully-realized characters that move through this vivid glimpse into the past, indulging in her own interests of the time period, while drawing breathtaking landscapes and scenes of intimate family life.  Yen Press has brought this lovely story to readers in a deserving hardcover volume.  While the pace can be a little slow at times, this really does immerse readers in the time period for a very unique reading experience that shouldn't be missed.

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