- Series: Yona of the Dawn (Book 1)
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (August 2, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1421587815
- ISBN-13: 978-1421587813
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1 Paperback – August 2, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-In the very first image of Princess Yona, a beautiful illustration depicting her cloaked and standing powerfully against a dawn-lit sky, readers immediately get a sense of who she is. This is a confident, courageous, and capable young woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders. But she wasn't always like this. She used to be carefree, a princess of a peaceful kingdom, doted on by her family. But a betrayal and a coup force Yona to flee, along with her childhood friend, the brash yet kind General Hak. This first volume spends its time well, establishing the characters through differing perspectives, interactions, and flashbacks, as well as the overall feel of the series. In particular, moments of remembered sweetness and even levity temper the tragic tone. The art is strong, with Kusanagi tweaking the shoujo style as needed and delivering on the emotional notes. To help readers equate the setting with the place of inspiration—ancient Korea—she puts a fair amount of care into the period details of buildings and clothing. VERDICT This title shows great promise as an emotional coming-of-age story, perfect for lovers of fantasy and historical romance. Especially recommended for fans of Yuu Watase's "Fushigi Yugi" or Sorata Akizuki's "Snow White with the Red Hair."-Rachel Forbes, formerly at Oakville Public Library, Ont.
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Equal parts politics and personal melodrama, Yona of the Dawn is a brilliantly-crafted action-adventure with a distinctly feminist flair, featuring a host of colorful characters (male and female, young and old) with complex and believable motivations. There are undercurrents of romance and tragedy, but also a good balance of humor and plenty of action.
The early volumes move a bit predictably, although the pacing is good and the stories interesting, if episodic. Once all the key players are assembled, the story blossoms along with Yona - her growth as a leader and warrior mirrors the manga's layering of nuance and character evolution.
There is a lot to chew over, especially for fans of history or historical fiction - from the costumes & weapons, to the geopolitics & geography, a lot of research into real-world Korea went into this story. The romance aspect is handled well too, although maybe it's a bit slow-paced compared to shorter works. There are some specific touches of fantastic/mystical abilities, notably among Yona's companions, but otherwise it is very much grounded in real-world concerns.
Definitely recommended for any fans of the historical (fantasy) genre, or anyone looking for something a bit meatier to read that's not too dense or depressing. Especially good for teens/teen girls, but I might not recommend it to younger kids for the intense politics and real-life subjects like drug addiction, slavery/abduction, prostitution, and assassination.
For those who have not seen the anime and do not know much about Akatsuki no Yona (or Yona of the Dawn), it follows the story of Yona, a pampered 16 year old princess who witnesses the murder of a loved one and is now on the run for her life. Accompanying her is her childhood friend/bodyguard Hak, who has vowed to protect her at all costs. In order to survive, Yona must not only pick up a sword and a bow, but also track down the Four Dragons of the old legends; only then will she discover her true destiny. A warning to those just picking up the manga and who do not know where this story goes: Yona is pretty annoying in the beginning. She's a princess who has never known pain or weariness, and is only concerned with winning the heart of the man she loves (not Hak...that would be far too simple!) and how horrible she thinks her red hair is. In the anime, you discover at the end of the second episode where her character development leads to (by far my favorite scene in the whole series--seriously, just watch it, people), and that gives you an incentive to keep watching because that girl is NOT the same spoiled princess you've spent some time with. Volume 1 of the manga centers around Yona's pampered life and childhood memories, before any character development takes place, and she is definitely your classic helpless princess in distress. Do yourself a favor and don't give up just yet!! Her story gives room for fantastic character development, and it definitely doesn't disappoint. If you don't have the patience to sit around waiting for the English translation of the manga to be released every few months to be hooked, watch the anime and get a feel for Yona's journey. You'll be glad you did.
Yona of the Dawn has something for everyone. Action, humor, a bit of romance, lovable characters, a controversial and complex villain that you love to hate, a strong fantasy-like appeal (it's pretty clean stuff--no nudity, witchcraft, hardcore magic and spells, etc. that often comes with the fantasy genre; I personally like fantasy that way, but I know others that see it as a sort of watered down coffee), and an overall engaging story. I HIGHLY recommend it, though don't judge the whole story and Yona's character on this one section.
Obsessed. I've now purchased the Kindle version, the physical version, and all digital episodes of the anime. I'm seriously considering ordering the original Japanese volumes even though I can in NO WAY read kanji. (Sadly that's not something you can pick up from years of subtitled anime.)
I've been a semi casual anime fan for a long time (subs are amazing to do cardio to!) but never really made it to manga. I'm not a comic/graphic novel fan and the opportunity cost for finding translations on the few that peaked my interest after the anime (ex: Erased) was too high (or "not on torrent or iTunes" -- yes, I'm lazy). However, after episode 5 of the anime I knew I must own all of the Yona noa.
Suffice it to say I've now read everything there is at least twice (thank you fan translations <3). Please buy this. Please buy all of the things. I'm concerned that the Zeno arc OVAs mean there won't be an anime season 2....THERE MUST BE A SEASON 2!! The anime is a beautiful (and very true to the original) adaptation.
Please support this and the brilliant Kusanagi and hopefully future anime adaptations. Please also watch and buy the anime!!! I need my fix!!