Monday, August 3, 2015

A Bride's Story- Volume 1-4 -Kaoru Mori.

Title- A Bride's Story.
Author- Kaoru Mori.
Publish date- 2009.
Publisher- Yen Press.


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
The stories of women- just married, to be married, widowed- an English doctor meets as he travels the Silk Trail in 19th century China.



What I thought:
After finishing Ouran it was pretty difficult for me to get into a new manga. Two failed, a bunch didn't interest me, and I wasn't sure about A Bride's Story when I started it; it was quick, which I always like, but I knew nothing about it and didn't really know what was oging on.

Essesntially, this is a series set around an English man travelling along the Silk Road in 19th century China and the clans he meets. He isn't the focus, although when he moves along the story follows him. The women are the focus, and it gives a really unique- and, for me, new- insight into that life.
It's informative and sections explain the land, although for me the story is enough for that not to be necessary, even if it is interesting and so well researched.

It follows new bride Amir in the first two volumes and oh, how I love her. She is so unconscious, affectionate, determined, loyal and capable, if not necessarily sure of her place and roles. She is eighteen and considered old, to have been married, and she is thrust into a world and marriage she doesn't really have a link with. But the family welcomes her and cherishes her, and the entire support dynamic was so heartwarming and fantastic. They protect each other, show Amir the ropes, learn from her and each other.
I wasn't sure how I would feel with the marriage theme, as a whole, since it's quite confronting. Amir marries a twelve year old boy, in the very first volume, and it shocked me. But their slow burning friendship, the way they take time and are shy of each other but also so caring- it's more like a really emotionally connected friendship, at this stage, than a romance.
In the third and fourth volumes we meet a woman who falls in love with the englishman and twins on a quest to find husbands, and I wasn't thrilled at having left Amir, although she returns every now and then. The third volume took a long while to pick up, but then it was incredibly emotional, where as I immediately enjoyed the twins' perspective, hyper and intense and slightly terrifying as they are.

My favourite thing about the whole series is that it is just drawn so intricately, so much care and detail being put into every frame. The gorgeous clothing and furnishings, the design of each and every character (real bodies with thighs and stomachs!). If the story didn't invest me as it does, the art would surely still hold my attention firmly.

Rating: Excellent.
This is stunning, interesting and enlightening.

14 comments:

  1. I've seen this manga around at the library and while it looked interesting, I never picked it up. I just may now though, especially if it got you out of the manga slump Ouran put you in ;) I loved the Ouran anime, haven't read the series yet. Amir sounds like a pretty cool character, although it's a shame she doesn't show up as much after volume two.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you know you can get a copy if you want to, Alise! libraries are awesome, I must say. I'm excited that you might now give it a try- it's truly touching and gorgeous, so very gorgeous. The anime is one of my favourites, too, and the series is just... phenomonal. Absolutely fantastic. xx

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  2. You and my daughter will get along well, Romi. She's got hordes of Manga books. Lol.

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    1. Haha, Joy this made me laugh. Manga fans UNITE. Have you ever read any of it? (I bet you hoard it in late night reads. I BET.) xx

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  3. I have never read Manga. My mother is dead set against it- even graphic novels are banned in our home. The premise behind this Manga series is neat though. I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's so hard to find a series that can add up to another series you loved.

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    1. Why?
      Oh, it's so fantastic. I'm not sure the reasoning behind your not being allowed to read manga, but I'd heartily recommend this. It's really gorgeous, for the art alone.
      It certainly is, Jordan. It certainly is.

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  4. I'm not a big fan of Magna, not at all actually but this sounds so incredibly bizarre. Story one? Oh good grief, that premise is completely sleazy, that she marries a 12 year old boy. Even without the romantic connotations, oh hell no. It's not something I could stomach I don't think, my inner voice would be screaming for me to be calling the authorities on a fictional character.

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    1. Oh really? I personally love it, but I know it can be a bit difficult to get into. When I read graphic novels these days, I struggle to get into the western reading pattern! I'm attuned to manga's style.
      Oh, see it's a series. So this is the first volume of... seven, I think.
      Well I don't agree with that, but hey! That's okay. It's not something that is a problem for me because it's acceptable in the culture the story is set in; it's an English man who is seeing these different clans along the Silk Trail and he's learning about their lives, seeing things from their perspectives. It was at a time, and in a place, where older women would be married to the young sons. That's just how it was. But again, we don't have to agree and that's okay. xx

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  5. Amir is amazing. Thank for the heads up on the change in character focus for later volumes! It's on the top of my manga TBR now. I need to review more manga too (I might review Read or Dream in the future.

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    1. ISN'T SHE? Oh, I love her so much. You've still got one with her! The third is a bit slower, for sure, but by the end of it I was a pile of emotions. It was just... incredibly striking, in the last chapter or two.
      You do! We should regularly recommend each other things. xx

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  6. It's always wonderful when books about China are fabulous, because I am always excited to read about my homeland. I confess, I'm more than a little annoyed at white people MCs in faraway land books, since like several of my set texts are like that. But this sounds like it might break out of the mold, so yay!

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    1. Seeing a culture represented in this way is so fabulous. With recent events in the blogging world it's become a point of interest for me how we can be assured of the genuity of the representation of a culture we may be unfamiliar with in lit, but this just does such a fantastic job. It can get incredibly frustrating, you're right. I hope you give this a try one time, Alyssa! I'd love to hear your thoughts. xx

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  7. I remember you chatting about this when we had our Skype book club! I think it sounds really interesting, and way outside of the usual manga series/volumes that I read (which are mainly fantasy and paranormal, HAHA). I so quite like the sound of it, though! It sounds super emotional, and I am always up for emotional reads. And if the art is beautiful, that's always a draw-card for me (I cannot read manga if I don't think the art is pretty enough. I know, terrible. But I need to be aesthetically pleased when reading manga, otherwise I spend the entire time wishing everything looked prettier). And real bodies? *gasp* HOW DARE THEY? *snigger*

    Anyway, I might have to see if my library has this one! But our collection is pretty mainstream, so we'll have to see.

    Lovely review! <3

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    1. Yes! It's probably going to become one of those books you talk about everywhere because it is incredible. It's so brilliant and even though it's not quite what you're used to reading in manga (same deal for me, although our genres aren't quite the same), I hope you'll give it a try! My library has almost all the copies- all the available ones I'm pretty sure- which is so fantastic. Hope yours has a couple, too!

      AND REAL BODIES. What!? How could this even be allowed. We might stop with the expectations!

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