Book (Manhwa): Like Wind on a Dry Branch by Dalsaeowl, Hwaeum

iPhone version of cover for Like Wind on a Dry Branch by Dalsaeowl & Hwaeum
iPhone version of cover for Like Wind on a Dry Branch by Dalsaeowl & Hwaeum

Like Wind on a Dry Branch
by Dalsaeowl, Hwaeum
published by Webtoon (ongoing, currently at chapter 177)
2021 – present

I’m 177 chapters into this enjoyable illustrated novel, and it isn’t going to end anytime soon, so I should review and recommend it! Admittedly, this one starts rough – the author notes that they like stories of overcoming adversity, and this one starts out ALL ABOUT ADVERSITY.

When we first meet our heroine, Rieta, she is sedated and being led to a graveyard to be buried alive by the man who sold her child into slavery… No, wait, come back! This would be a one issue comic if that played out – there’s more!

AHEM. Where was I? Rieta is saved from being buried alive by a prince with a bad reputation, but it turns out that is a front – there’s a lot more going on than appearances suggest. Prince Killian Axias pretends to be a playboy, but this masks the threat he poses to the current order. Rieta seems like a hapless commoner hollowed out by grief, but has healing powers beyond explanation, raising questions about how she flunked out of religious school. Plague is spreading strangely and with suspicious timing. Magic is real, and is the subject of religious training involving the state church AND ALSO demons. And there is a curse left by a dying princess, which the current royal family is desperate to lift.

While Rieta devotes herself to healing others, the situation around her shifts, clear threats to her life emerge, and new allies refuse to let her give up on living.

The story is engaging and unpredictable, despite themes in common with other manhwa I am reading, such as: secret ancestry, corrupt religious officials, murderous royals, demons with good hair who never skip chest day (or any other day) at the gym, a harem that is not what it appears, curses, and sweet women who can cure plagues. What sets it apart is that it is well written, illustrated in subdued tones, has an unexpectedly reasonable prince, and takes non-obvious plot turns.

Plus, there is a quirk to the illustrations, where side-eye (you know what this is, don’t make me look at you this specific way with scorn) is unduly dramatic, and this delights me.

If I look forward to more even 177 chapters in, it’s good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.