Manga Review: Requiem of the Rose King Volume Three

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Requiem of the Rose King Volume 3 is based on two of William Shakespeare’s works: Henry VI and Richard III. This series follows Henry and Richard as they experience the Wars of the Roses.

Requiem of the Rose King Volume 3
Written by: Aya Kanno
Publisher: Akita Publishing Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 12, 2016

Volume 3 has a strong focus on Edward York, who has now become King of England. Politics and lust play an important role in his storyline, since he has fallen for Elizabeth Woodville even though arrangements are being made for him to marry Princess Bona of France. When Edward secretly marries Elizabeth and proclaims her queen, this causes some serious damage to England’s relations with France. On top of all of this, Edward is blissfully unaware that Elizabeth is plotting to destroy Edward and help the Lancasters reclaim the throne. By the end of this volume, every indication seems to be pointing toward conflict or war becoming an important part of the story due to Edward’s lapse of judgment.

Meanwhile, Richard has another chance meeting with Henry, and the two of them spend time together. Henry, who doesn’t seem to entirely clue in to Richard’s secret, appears to be falling in love. But this realization is torture to the pious Henry.

Requiem of the Rose King Volume 3 is making it even clearer that this will ultimately be a love story, especially when Henry’s son rescues Richard and Richard believes that it’s Henry. Henry’s son, Edward, later sees the two of them together and becomes extremely jealous. So now Richard is even more tortured than ever, and this seems to be setting more of a stage for awkward family relationships between the House of York and the House of Lancaster.

As a reader, there were moments where I wished I could somehow jump into the story and stop characters from doing stupid things. This happened a lot with King Edward, since he made several bad choices when it comes to Elizabeth. He doesn’t seem to care that his actions will anger King Louis of France, and he is so blinded by Elizabeth to notice her actions behind the scenes. I expect to see Edward’s downfall coming sooner rather than later in this series.

With Volume 3, Requiem of the Rose King continues to build on the intrigue and deception taking place amongst the noble families in medieval times. Kanno has found the right balance between politics, love, and action to tell a story that readers become captivated by and want to continue reading. Readers who enjoy historical fiction will likely have an appreciation for Requiem of the Rose King Volume 3. However, they will have to get used to the fact that many of the male characters have been given a “bishonen” (beautiful boy) look, as well as the fact that Kanno is playing it fast and loose with historical accuracy in order to write the story that she wants to tell.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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