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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 8 (light novel): The Town of Strife I Kindle Edition
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This 8th Volume of the S&W manga continues the accelerated pace of the last book. The first third of the book finishes the story of Holo and Lawrence at Tereo, adhering closely to the plotting of the 4th novel of the series. The next, and longest section of the book, covers all of Volume 6 of the novels, our duo's trip down the Roam River from Lenos to Kerube, but with an interesting twist in the storyline. The manga author decided to essentially drop the whole complex episode in Lenos that was the heart of the 5th book of the novels. Instead the turmoil in the city is reduced to a single page explanation, with no mention whatsoever of the complex dealings Holo and Lawrence had with Eve, the female trader. H and L's motivation for the downriver journey changes from pursuing the treacherous Eve to avoiding the chaos in Lenos.
The last section of the book, about 25 pages, cover's their arrival at Kerube, along with Col, a boy they pick up along the way. There they stay at an inn, and deal with an innkeeper, and encounter a masked trader. The masked trader is then revealed to be.... Eve!
I'm in favor of most the changes the author has made in the storyline. The Tereo episode was handled very nicely. Volume 6 was certainly the least of the novels and its rapid work through I also appreciated. What I'm not so sure about is the apparent intended combination of some parts of the tales of our duo at Lenos and Kerube. I'm not sure how far the manga author tends to go with combining things, but am certainly curious to see and will give him the benefit of the doubt.
The book itself seems to be a bit smaller than the previous releases but this book is mainly the set up for the next one(Due to being part 1 of 2). While not a ton happens in the story progression department I still found it a nice read and blasted through it in one night. While the main story arch doesn't progress as much you still get some insight into the cities problems and more exposition into Lawrence's thoughts.
The character development in this book adds some new twists with Col's experiences with Kraft and Holo and how they slowly see him learn new things and start to grow as a person. It's also amusing to see his reactions to Kraft and Holos usual banter that we as readers are used to. I also liked some of the characters that they interacted with and finally tied some loose ends from previous books.
I say this is def worth picking up even if it's a smaller book than usual and is only one of two parts. I liked the random town drama that comes into play and they toss some more hints to what may lie ahead in the future for Kraft and Holo.
• Drawings still just as good
• Finally progressing the main story
• More Col character development
• Some loose ends tied up
• Little bit on the short side at just 181 pages