Friday, 24 June 2016


Kingdom of the Winds Vol: 1 
Author/Artist: Kimjin
Genre: Fantasy
Age: 13+
Publisher: NETCOMICS
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

An epic fantasy and vivid re-imagination of ancient Korean history, made possible by painstaking historical research combined with breathtaking mythological visualization! Kingdom of the Winds tells the legendary story of King Yuri (Goguryeo's second emperor), King Damusin (Muhyul, Goguryeo's third emperor), and Muhyul's son Hodong. This tale fills in the personal details of their lives, their ideals and human emotions as they struggle with an unavoidable fate that intertwines and tangles their lives with that of their nation. You will meet the heroes of the Kingdom of the Winds; heroes afflicted and lost, opposed to each other, and bound together on their epic journeys to achieving their diverse ideals that actual history had only hinted at. We suggest you to read the background information by clicking on Background tab first before proceeding to the first chapter.

"My fair beloved comes for me, my fair beloved will set me free."

King Yuri, Goguryeo's second king will be frantic as soon as he finds out prince Yeojin has not come back to the palace. The crown prince asks if any of his subjects close to him have seen prince Yeojin as he has wondered off. One of them mentions he might have been swept away and taken by the river god there, as a farmer has reported seeing him walking along the river bank one day with a strange man who he was spotted talking to near the upper reaches of the Biryu river. The farmer was alleged to have called out the prince's name, yet he cannot have heard him as he continued talking to the stranger. While this has happened, the crown prince decides to go search for Yeojin, but discovers he was upset at being of lowly birth as his father had argued with him and scolded him most cruelly the day before.

While this happens, rumours are abound of king Daeso of East Buyeo has sent raiders over the boarder to harm them. The crown prince's sister wishes to go with him on his search, yet she says it is unlikely she will as she suffers night blindness and has a fear of deep waters such as are around that part of the land, plus her mother has had labor pains which are getting more pronounced. The crown prince rushes away on his horse even though he is warned that the river is treacherous during storms like the one he is riding in.

The crown prince risks all to do this, and understands he may never return in that night of the most awful storms, and to excersise his mind he remembers what his father is like and hates the way he treats those who are of his blood with such hate, while his enemies are treat much better by him. Princess Seryu is disturbed that Yeojin has wondered off alone in such a way, while Yeon tells her and her aides that she has had a terrible dream that makes her think the spirits are jealous of their happiness.

The setting for this first volume of manga is in ancient Goguryeo where two kingdoms are in conflict with each other, and this is an excellent re-telling of what happened all those centuries ago, mixed with the fantasy of the story within it. King Yuri is seen as a ruler, as old as he is, who is not one to show his emotions that much, as many of his family including the crown prince will admit to. He shows how dark and cruel he can be to those who are below him.

There is a great level of detail in this first manga by Kimjin author of Lethe and the Starry Night Manwha Novella Collection, and the artwork has a sense of sadness about it as many of the panels are shrouded as rain pours down over Goguryeo, and it is this which makes her work unique and exciting as the reader continues and finds the truth of that ancient age coupled with the fantasy of the era within the folklore of Korea.

Goguryeo has been a thriving ancient Korean empire for over 700 years with a richness and diverstity of culture and personality that made it an enchanted land which has been written of by Kimjin in this wonderful manga. As this is a mixture of both fact and fantasy, it embroils the reader into much more than if it were a normal everyday fantasy as the places and people did exist at that period in Korean history. King Yuri in this tale is the second king of Goguryeo as M'hul is the third. Both M'hul and Seryoo are of the same lineage and have magical powers.

Summary: Ancient Korean history coupled with the many mystic and wonderful creatures in it. This is lavishly created and wonderfully researched.
Kimjin has shown the reader a masterpiece.