Author: Jeon JinSeok
Artist: Han SeungHee
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: May 2008
Synopsis: “Sehara meets Sultan Shazaman and discovers that his brother’s distrust of women not only comes from Fatima’s betrayal but also his mother’s traumatic death. And while Sehara is away, Shahryar continues to play his dangerous game with another girl. Will Sehara’s next night story be enough to stop the sultan’s wicked ways?”
After a long wait for faithful readers, volume four of One Thousand and One Nights finally arrives! This book continues the fine balance between story and present events as Sehara tells the ailing Prince another story, while he himself got to hear a disturbing true story from the prince’s brother, Shazaman. With this glimpse into Shahryar’s dark past, Sehara is determined to defeat the dark pain inside the Prince before it consumes him.
I didn’t enjoy volume four as much as I have previous volumes, because despite the new things we, as readers, and Sehara have learned still didn’t make it feel as emotionally engaging with the characters as the first three books. But despite that, it was none the less an entertaining read. Sehara’s story this time around was about a little boy coming to horrible terms with the truth behind his seemingly happy family. It was both engaging and heartbreaking. Interwoven into that were more revelations of Shahryar’s past, and though despite the sympathy I felt for his trials, it still doesn’t condone his murderous ways. It does however leave me all the more eager to see how Sehara will continue to deal with this information in his hopes to help soothe the Prince’s inner demons.
The artwork remains really attractive with some of the most beautiful characters, both male and female, that you’ll find in a graphic novel. The pacing works really well for both the stories and the present day occurrences, with the artist doing a good job making sure the two mesh without overlapping and becoming confusing. Scenes are really brought alive by character’s expressions, from subtle to strained.
This is the first release of One Thousand and One Night since Yen Press absorbed Ice Kunion’s titles. I was concerned they may not maintain the same appearance of the previous books. But those fears were put to rest the moment I picked up the book. It’s the same size of the first three with the same cover designs and spines. For people like me who dislike random design change in the middle of their series, worry not of this series, because volume four fits neatly next to volumes one, two and three. The book gives readers the bare basics with no frills or bonus material including a lack of advertisements for other Yen Press series, not necessarily a bad thing but something worth noting.
While it didn’t make as big an impact as its predecessors, volume four still shouldn’t disappoint its patient readers. It’s great to see this series make its published return and I’m already looking forward to volume five.