tasting yaoi: black knight 1


In an attempt to alleviate my boredom Given that I seem to have a visual fixation I’ve decided to expand my ‘tasting’ series to include a new stream to highlight some of the yaoi I’ve been gobbling up like crazy reading lately. (From the files of Dr K: A female sufferer of the toy poodle flu often finds themselves focusing on pretty pictures and stories of boy love.)

For those of you not familiar with the yaoi genre or have only sampled it in the form of western m/m romance, let me offer a brief description… *snort* As if! You all believed me, didn’t you?! Or did you forget I was a total lazy arse?? Suckers.

If you want to know more there’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless informative article about yaoi manga by Christopher Butcher. However, probably the best western site for information is Aestheticism.com. It will give you some background to the genre, meanings of terms, etc. Alternatively, and depending on her mood of course, you could ask the kitteh – she’ll know.

BTW, manga is basically a Japanese ‘comic book’. Don’t be slack shits like me – Google it to find out more.

On to the ‘tasting’!

Black Knight: Volume 1 by Kai Tsurugi


The Blurb:

Black Knight, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a knight in the kingdom of Aran. Zeke O’Brien may have his eyes on the title of Black Knight, but he’s also after another prize, the young prince Chris.

Black Knight is a sweeping romantic fantasy epic about the relationship between the prince of a medieval kingdom and his loyal guardsman. Our story begins when Chris and Zeke meet in military school and embark on a life-long relationship fraught with danger, treachery, and above all, love.

Why I bought it:

Toy poodle flu. Oh, alright. I also have a passion for anime and manga.

Dislike/like (ending on a high note):

Dislike~ Not a huge dislike, but the spoiled prince(ess) who falls in love with his commoner protector is a pretty familiar plot device. I can handle it if it’s convincing and I thought it was in the case of Chris and Zeke. I think this was mainly because I witnessed the growth of the characters as the story progressed. Yes, I’m still a character-driven-story whore.

Like~ The artwork in this manga is terrific. The action scenes in particular are pretty damn awesome, especially the sword fight and chase sequences. It’s great stuff. I also liked (and I know this will come as a bit of a surprise since I’m admittedly a perve) the fact that the love/sex scenes were not overly explicit. This really suited the context of the story and the characters, and I think is a reflection of how much thought this author/artist gave to her work.

Dislike~ I know I said I found the love story between Chris and Zeke convincing and the character development good; however, I still would have liked the first part of the book – that of the burgeoning friendship and relationship between the two – to have been expanded upon. You do get a bit of a sense of this as well as that of time passing before the plot really gains momentum, but… more please.

Like~ A love story set in a medieval world where a beautiful innocent prince and his handsome dashing knight face danger because of political intrigue and mystery. Oooooh. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that! *g*

So, what I think:

Although I’ve only read the first book of the series, I would recommend it to those interested in trying yaoi manga for the first time. I loved it. The romantic in me was sighing. A definite keeper.


=====================================================


‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.
Advertisements

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in fantasy, kai tsurgi, m/m, manga, tasting yaoi. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to tasting yaoi: black knight 1

  1. Tam says:

    Well, I am a yaoi manga virgin … for now. 😀 Looking forward to my first experience.

    BUT, if they are Japanese, why are their names Zeke and Chris and not Hiro and other Japanese guy. I don’t get that Japanese fascination with white Japanese people a la Sailor Moon.

    However I am willing to overlook this quirk if it caters to my poodle flu.

  2. Kris says:

    Good point, Tam. In general, the names of the characters depend upon the setting. In this case it is a quasi-medieval European world hence the names, but if it is set in Japan the names are usually Japanese (as you will see when you get your ‘introduction to yaoi’ pack).

    The exceptions to this is when something has been westernised/bastardised/etc; however, the more recent dubbings from Japanese to English in anime and the same translations in manga generally keep the original names.

    The quirk will fall before the pics of pretty boy love. Oh, did I warn you about how you would need to read the manga??

  3. Ozakie says:

    Kris,

    I just recently read my first official yaoi novel (I dont know if Jet Mykles Heaven Sent series count ..;-)) It was blazing hot! Thanks for this recommendation. I will have to check it out. I really like yaoi. I think its like a good novel to read on a rainy or blah day! 😉

    Ozakie

  4. Kris says:

    Hey Ozakie

    Long time no hear. 🙂 Hope you are doing well.

    You just finished your first yaoi novel? Cool. What was it? Maybe I’ve read it too. 😉

    This is the first of a few yaoi recs that I will be doing. Hopefully, they will be of interest to people.

    If you do get “Black Knight”, let me know what you think of it. I’ll be very interested to know, especially as this sounds as though it will be your first manga as well.

  5. Emmy, who is drooling too much to sign in. NOM! says:

    You coming to Yaoi Con this year? Minami Kazuka is going to be the guest speaker this year *fangurl squeeee*. If you haven’t read MY PARANOID NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR or LOVE A LA CARTE, you really should. That second one has some serious boizu rabu goin on. Corsets and cameras and cocks…oh MY!!!

  6. Kris says:

    Oh my indeed!

    So I got all excited because I thought I might be able to squeeze in a trip in between projects and Yaoi Con is on during my busiest time of the month. 😦

    I haven’t read Minami Kazuka and since my fave overseas bookstore is out of stock of it, I’m gonna have to find a copy within Oz. That should be interesting… NOT!

    Thanks for the recs, Emmy!

  7. orannia says:

    <>Well, I am a yaoi manga virgin…<>Me too 🙂 And thank you for recommending this as a good place to start Kris!

  8. Kris says:

    Well, you know how I really hate to pimp books to people, Orannia, but I thought I’d make the exception in this case. 😉

  9. Ozakie says:

    Kris,

    Yes, long time no hear. Real life intervene although I do lurk…;-)..The yaoi I read was Caged Slave by Yuiko Takamura. I had purchased it long ago but JenB gave an A plus rating on her blog so I was like “Let me pull this off the shelf” and Im so glad I did. It was HOT! I have another one called Better Than A Dream by Raica Sakuragi that I hope to start soon. I found Emmy and Im going to have let u, Emmy, and Sarah recommend me some more good yaoi..;-)

    Ozakie

  10. But..but…YCon is only 3 days, over a weekend. Surely you can take time out to come play with me, Minami, and some of my other fave m/m authors…Ally Blue, Jet Mykles,and JL Langley go every year too, and are just hilarious to talk to.

  11. Kris says:

    Ozakie: Oh, “Caged Clave”. I liked this one too. 🙂 I bought it after reading Jen B’s review of it. We must hang out at the same places. LOL.

    I’ll do some more mini-reviews just for you. 😉

  12. Kris says:

    Emmy: 😦

    I work away on 26 & 27 Nov and because of the Perth thing it will take me well over a day to travel there. I'd probably only just make it and then I have to be back in Perth for 5 Nov.

    *wailing* It's soooo UNFAIR! Plus I can't find “My Paranoid Next Door Neighbour” anywhere. *sobbing*

  13. Das cuz you’re spelling it *wrong*. There’s no ‘u’ in Neighbor *g*

  14. Kris says:

    You Yanks have a serious case of the disappearing ‘u’s’ I tellz ya!

Leave a Reply. I dare you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s