Manga Monday: Goong!

Goong: The Royal Palace (Volume 1)
Park So Hee

I just got back from C2E2, but I'll probably talk more about that later.  While I was in Chicago, I scored some good manga, and had enough down-time to squeeze in a manga for today.  Goong: The Royal Palace is a book I've been eyeing for awhile now, just because I love the elaborate clothing and backgrounds on the beautiful covers, and I couldn't resist picking up the first volume when I saw it on sale.  This title is actually manhwa, from Korean creator Park So Hee, and sees a sort of Cinderella story with a reluctant heroine.  It takes place in a parallel world, where the monarchy still thrives in Korea, when it actually ended a long time ago.  It's sort of a what-if that sees the royals living in the palaces of Korea, and treated like celebrities, with their own breed of paprazzi following them around, the media going crazy over every little incident.  Chae-Kyung is drawn into this world when she is chosen to wed the young prince.  She's shocked by the circumstances, but her grandfather was good friends with one of the royals, and together, conspired to have her marry the prince when they were young.  With the prince reaching his eighteenth birthday, he's expected to take a wife, and is arranged to have one through this understanding of long ago.  Chae-Kyung is just a regular high school girl, so this is quite an adjustment for her, but to make matters even worse, she's had a few run-ins with the prince before, and none of them have been favorable.  In fact, he's pretty much an arrogant jerk, especially when it comes to Chae-Kyung, whom he thinks is brash.  It's a pretty compelling story, enhanced all the more by the exquisite pencils of Park So Hee.  I love the attention to detail and the pacing of the story - very suspenseful stuff, and everyone, boys as well as girls, are just rendered beautifully.  There are some very pretty boys in this book.  The celebrity aspect is really neat and I hope Hee continues to play it up in subsequent volumes.  I'm really looking forward to how Chae-Kyung evolves with her changing circumstances, as well as just ogling more of this great artwork.


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