The Twelve Kingdoms Volume 1: Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono

(8.9/10)

Yoko Nakajima wakes from a terrifying dream where she is surrounded by many ravenous beasts. She is amazed that what she experienced was not real and wonders about its meaning for a while. She is just an ordinary child in every way. She attends an all-girl school, getting average grades, but her mother worries about her long, and very red hair, feeling the other students might get the wrong impression of her as their hair is black by nature, and envy could set in among them.

Ordering her to get it cut, Yoko thinks she is different from the other girls, but this just makes things worse from her mother's point of view as she sees it as unfair. When she is found asleep in class, she is sent to the head teacher's office for questioning, but she cannot reveal her nightmares to him of all people. Instead she tells how much she has been studying, and he lets her go home without telling her off for doing anything wrong.

The story begins to take a turn when a young man, dressed in ancient Japanese robes and a noh mask tells her she must come with him as she is in great danger at the school, while the man's friend says they have been followed by something more dangerous and deadly than Yoko realises.

Illustrated by Akihiro Yamada with ink plates at vital parts of the story, they bring to the novel another sense of realism that will take the reader into the story faster. Fuyumi has managed to create a beautiful tale of ancient proportions, letting the readers enjoy the fullness of the story where beauty, monsters and half-beasts are, political intrigue and civil war are where the characters are played. It is not the sort of run-of-the-mill fantasy story, but one steeped in history that will enchant and captivate the reader's heart.

This is a spectacular novel that mixes fantasy and reality in an ancient manga setting and a provocative and extremely satisfying read.

Review by

12+

The Twelve Kingdoms Volume 1: Sea of Shadow reader reviews

8.9/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Wandering Son: Volume 1

by Shimura Takako

The fifth grade: the threshold to puberty and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving [...]


Published: 2011

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Aria Volume 1

by Kozue Amano

On the planet Aqua, a world once known as Mars, Akari Mizunashi has just made her home in the town of Neo-VENEZIA, a futuristic imitation of the ancient city of Venice. The [...]


Published: 2004

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Embalmer: Volume 1

by Mitsukazu Mihara

Shinjyurou Mamiya, an embalmer in a nation where men of his profession are viewed as outcasts engaging in an unaccepted and unclean practice. For Shinjyurou, it's just [...]


Published: 2008

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Star of Sorrow

by Sunao Yoshida

A mysterious terrorist organization is hell-bent on orchestrating a war between the New Human Empire and the Vatican. Special Ops AX Agent Abel Nightroad teams up with a sp [...]


Published: 2001

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+