Author: Yamila Abraham
Artist: M.A. Sambre
Publisher: Yaoi Press
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: September 2008
“Prince Davon yearns for a pure love with the peasant Aeon, but the dark forces that taint Davon’s life will interfere. Both Davon and Aeon become unsure of where they stand. Will they be lovers, or adversaries? The macabre story of twisted love, demons, and torture comes to a heart-wrenching conclusion.”
Volume three of Dark Prince marks the end of this boys’ love story of demons, gods and princes. Prince Davon is still struggling under the control of the abusive and selfish God, Pharah. Aeon, the young boy believed to be a reincarnation of a man named Rickus, stays at Davon’s side but Pharah wants the boy for himself. But when Davon is unable to convince Aeon of his God’s non-existent good side, Pharah orders Davon to kill him.
Everything comes full circle in this volume and I was happy to see how everything was resolved. There were some pleasant surprises, with characters getting their just dues and others having endings, both sad and good, that I didn’t see coming. I don’t want to spoil anything of course, but I found the end results of Lor, Davon, Aeon and co. to be a little on the surprising side in some cases, but they were all no less satisfying than I had hoped.
From volume one to now, Davon’s become emotionally weaker as a character while Aeon’s gotten stronger and more confident. I was happy to see Lor remained as focused and driven as ever, even if in some ways he did get the shorter end of the stick (though I’m personally happy with how things ended up for him and a certain demonic-admirer).
Like previous volumes, I occasionally ran into moments where talk of the political left me a little lost but the nitty-gritty of the character interactions and dramatics were never hard to follow.
Yaoi Press’s releases are always colourful releases visually, and the Dark Prince books have been no exception. I find the Dark Prince book covers, both front and back, attractive with appealing artwork and I especially like the spines, which together form a picture. In fact on numerous occasions I’ve found Yaoi Press books to be the first things newcomers to my manga collection will pick up, purely based on how eye-catching the book spines are; an important aspect of promoting a single book in a sea of others on bookshelves that a lot of publishers don’t always seem to pay particular attention to.
For the artwork itself, I’ve really enjoyed M.A. Sambre’s work here. It’s been consistent, stylish and nicely detailed. The fact that they did the entire three volume series in only a year and a half is really impressive and rarely does it ever look rushed. Occasionally there were some facial expressions on characters here in the third volume that lent a little more comedy to a situation then was intended, but it’s a minor thing and I’d really like to see more of this artist’s work published in the future. Note: You can see some of M.A. Sambre’s artwork over on their DeviantArt account.
Another big personal bit of fun surrounding this book is that one of my reviews for a previous volume of Dark Prince was quoted on the back cover! Yay! Unfortunately from a pluggage point of view, my site’s address was incorrectly written but regardless of that, there’s nothing like a little ego boost and if it serves to inspire a reader to pick up this series and give it go, then I’m all the happier for it.
Art and story combined, Dark Prince was an entertaining read. The plot got a little hard to follow at times but you could always count on those climatic moments to bring about the needed clarity and keep things on track. With an enjoyably twisted plot, pretty artwork and lots of sex that should cater to most fans’ tastes, Dark Prince is a purchase worth making for boys’ love fans looking for something that varies from the usual fare and does it with style.