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* * * * *   May 21, 2009
Reviewer: Elizabeth McClung

One of the top 10 manga of the 300 I have read this year! A delightful book that is a long one shot – 200 pages, with another one shot after it. It has our bishi lad who has to face not only that he is the first male songstress, but that no one can know, as the village only prospers if the female songstress sings to protect the land. The villagers virtually lock the family (he and his twin sister) in a tower, fawn over her, ignore him as after all – he is a boy and cannot be born with the gift of the songstress (ah ha!). Meanwhile, dishy lad with glasses who is the son of the chief finds out the truth that if the songstress does not sing, the village is killed, and that the village is in fact keeping the mother and children prisoners. Meanwhile, the King of this kingdom ONLY have males….except now there is a female and after checking back and forth, yes, this is the offspring of the king. So suddenly a female monarch and a male songstress; it seems the times are a changing, slowly. While the male songstress runs off, leaving dishy glasses lad to protect sister, questions arise about love, about dependence and the Traditions. It is a super read and I recommend it to anyone who likes excellent manga, which transcends simple story telling into literature without you even noticing. It is great as a gift and a way to get people into manga who might not otherwise, and would interest anyone in feminism, gender roles, the SCA, and so many other people who might not read manga.

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