Book (Manhwa): I Abdicate My Title of Empress by Kim hee sung, galbi

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I Abdicate My Title of Empress
by Kim hee sung , galbi
published by Webtoon (54 chapters, ongoing)
2023 – present

When we meet Adelheid, she has given up her crown princess title and left her country for an arranged marriage to a hostile-but-hot blond emperor in a far off empire.

Not only does Emperor Karl exude hostility to Adelheid for not being as passive as a flower in a vase (the way he likes his women), but his jealous young mistress controls the money, and chooses not to fund Adelheid to show her who is really in charge. Karl tells Adelheid that if she minds her own business, she can do what she wants (though we grasp that this would involve having money to live on).

Oh, and the empire is being picked apart by sky monster attacks that the church has responsibility to stop, yet doesn’t seem inclined to do much about, especially if their delays kill off their rivals, those noble knights who actually try to save people from being killed.

Between Adelheid’s ability to read the law to determine her rights, a handsome noble who wants to beat the sky monsters and so becomes her official-aide and official-if-not-actual-lover, and that fact that ADELHEID CAN FLOAT WHILE DEFEATING SKY MONSTERS (!!!) because she is an unusually POWERFUL MAGE (!!), the empire’s power structure starts to crack beneath her booted feet.

Characters from I Abdicate My Title As Empress: our heroine, the emperor, and the empress' aide
I’m having difficulty keeping track of all the empresses being sabotaged by blonde mistresses across the many manhwa I am reading, but since this heroine flies in the updraft caused by invasions (?) and her aide, Lionel, is so blatantly pretty (look at the eyeliner!), I think I can track this story using either of those details.

Brazen attacks on Adelheid and whiny demands from Karl’s mistress might make Karl rethink his life choices. We will learn why Adelheid REALLY left her kingdom, and how many attractive warriors from back home want to turn up to fight alongside her, and about council meetings (because governance requires those, sadly).

This story has: a golden-eyed, monster-fighting, floating heroine; a handsome, ineffective emperor; a whiny, blond, unethical mistress (the primary mistress type in manhwa, from what I can see) with power-hungry allies propping her up undeservedly; a beautiful nobleman who isn’t sure why he stares adoringly at the heroine (duh); a corrupt church; neglectful authorities; and AN EVIL POWER THAT DROPS BUILDINGS AND MONSTERS FROM THE SKY! (This may be crossing into sci-fi. It’s unusual, and I’m here for it.)

The next season promises (even more) pretty men from Adelheid’s home empire, and more Adelheid-floating-sky-battles so I’m looking forward to it.

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