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Review: One Thousand and One Nights (Vol. 05)

Author: Jeon JinSeok
Manhwa-ga: Han SeungHee
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: September 2008

Synopsis: “Sultan Shahryar and Sehara escape from the palace! On the road, they meet two other runaways – a girl named Aisha and her tutor Alex. Aisha and Alex are in love, but her parents object to their union. When Aisha’s father sends some men to capture them, the Sultan has to decide whether to help them or turn them in…”

In this volume of One Thousand and One Nights, Sehara and Shehryar leave the palace to find some much needed relaxation near the sea. There they meet a runaway girl and her tutor who fled her home to escape being summoned by Shehryar and becoming another of his victims. Sehara wishes to help but Sultan Shehryar sees no merit in it so it’s only a matter of time until interests collide.

There was considerable more Sehara and Shehryar than the usual stories told here, which will get no complaints from me! As much as I love hearing Sehara’s life-lesson stories, I really like having the story’s backdrop characters getting some time to shine.

Shehryar and Sehara are growing closer as friends and confidents, with Sehara one of the few who has faith in the Sultan’s sanity. They share some cute moments in this book, from pretending to be lovers as a distraction tactic to enganging in some Turkish oil wrestling. It’s fun seeing Sehara outside his flowy robes and storytelling calm posture and I certainly never expected to see him and the Sultan stripped down, greased up and wrestling for sheep.

The last third of the book is dedicated to another story told by Sehara, this time about a beautiful young man in Greece. He believes himself to have everything until he meets a scruffy, travelling man who is said to have never lost a debate. Fueled by this man’s seeming disinterest and inverted lifestlye to his own, the gorgeous youth is determined to make him his.

The artwork in One Thousand and One Nights continue to be candy for the eyes, with beautiful men and women on every page. The detail and care taken to historial locations and style is evident and gives a real ethic flair to everything. One thing that stood out to me in this volume more so than others was the super-deformed facial expressions (dots for eyes, etc.) which were quite prevalent on Sehara here. Because they don’t happen all that often, their effect is doubled and I found myself giggling at these intentionally humourous moments.

All-in-all, One Thousand and One Nights continues to be an enjoyable read, mixing attractive artwok with moral-rich stories and sprinkling overtop it all a healthy serving of character drama. I really like watching the evolving relationship between Sehara and Shehryar and the tales woven into their lives are never less than entertaining. With Yen Press continuing a fine English release job in Ice Kunion’s absorbed footsteps, this continues to be a series well worth continuted collection.

Review written September 20, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo
Book provided by Yen Press for review purposes

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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