Book (Manga): Light & Shadow by Hee Won

Cover of manga Light & Shadow, original novel by Ryu Hyang, Comic by Hee Won

Light & Shadow
Original novel by Ryu Hyang, Comic by Hee Won
published by (complete – 103 episodes)

Prince Eden has a secret: his mother is raising him as a boy to protect him from the fate of women in feudal society, and so she can retain some safety as mother of the heir to the throne, rather than as the mere mother of Princess Edna. The prince is a great student, and a great swordsman to boot! But when the profoundly corrupt king is overthrown, Eden must die along with the rest of the royal family… But the queen throws Edna out secretly, to live as an anonymous woman who escapes only with her life.

Then things get complicated.

Edna is abducted, sold into servitude, abused, and sent off as a substitute bride for a soldier with Butcher in his nickname…

This has all the things you want from a Korean drama: Cross-dressing! Secrets! Murderous royals! Plots! Scandals! Rough-on-the-outside, kind-hearted, misunderstood men with amazing abdominal muscles! A heroine who is good at literally everything! The threat that the people who you’ve fallen in love with could you will kill you if they discover your bloodline! Romance between battles! Weird scars! Good hair!

The idea that heroines of these stories are so good that people would die for them soon after witnessing their kindness is a bit alarming (how desperate are people for signs of kindness, exactly?). It does makes for good comedy scenes from otherwise hardened characters that softens the stories with humor.

A fun read.

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