Within the past year I did something that I never do, not since elementary school: I read through a series of books that I checked out from the library rather than purchasing them outright.
There are several reasons why I never do this. One, I want to read on my timetable without worrying about return dates. Two, I want to have the complete series of anything at my fingertips, and not be limited to what’s checked in or what the library has available. And three, I like to be able to re-read things whenever I want. But at the time I was going through books like water (reading while you nurse a baby has that effect), and this particular series came highly recommended from a friend.
As it was, I was not disappointed. Yona of the Dawn is a wonderful fantasy manga by Mizuho Kusanagi. Yona starts off as a spoiled princess – until the night she witnesses the murder of her father, at the hands of Su-Won, the childhood friend whom she’s fallen in love with. After being driven from the palace with no one but her loyal bodyguard Hak, Yona ends up seeking out the legendary dragon warriors in her quest to defend the people she cares about.
One of the best parts of this manga is the character of Yona herself. In the first volume, she’s just a pretty little princess whose concerns involve her unruly hair and fine clothes. After losing everything, she becomes almost a lifeless doll – and after watching Hak defend her, risking his life for hers over and over, she finally decides to do something about it. Thus, she begins to learn how to use weapons (primarily the bow and arrow, which she becomes quite skilled with) and fight back against the wrongs and oppression in the kingdom around her. Her character development, from the ultimate girly-girl to a female warrior who thinks nothing of giving her own life for her friends, is simply stunning.
What I love so much about this manga is that even though this is not a Christian story, Yona clearly displays Christian values and a Christ-like attitude. Despite losing everything – her father, her home, her status – she becomes determined to protect those she loves, namely her friends and the people of her country. Just as God calls us to care for our neighbor and put other’s needs before our own, Yona exemplifies what it means to truly serve. Not only does she fight for her people, but there are many points in the story where she’s willing to give up her life for others – just as Christ gave up His life for ours.
There’s more in this series that fascinates me, but I’ll save it for the next post! Until the next time, keep reading!
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.