Book Review: Yona of the Dawn Volume 20

Yona of the Dawn Volume 20 cover.

I hope everyone is still having a good week, even if it is
still the same monotonous routine of the daily grind.

Things are still going well, as I can still do what I like.

Recently, the first two of three titles I was expecting this
month arrived, and so far, I have already dealt with one of them.

Today, I will be reviewing the last of those two, which is
called Yona of the Dawn Volume 20
by Mizuho Kusanagi.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post,
I will not go over it again.

After finding out that nadai is still a problem in the water
tribe, Yona wakes up and finds herself in wagon, while Yona’s companions try to
find out what happened to her.

However, when Yona’s friends find out what happened to Yona,
one of them must reluctantly aid from somebody who betrayed them, to rescue
both Yona and her friend.

While things have been kind of improving for this series,
the fact that the previous
volume
did not exactly meet my expectations completely makes me hesitate a
little, making me wonder if things are back to how they should.

And after reading this, I can say that I really liked this
volume.

From the moment that I opened up this volume and started
reading the first few pages, I found myself so engrossed that I did not want to
stop reading for any reason.

As I have noted many times before, one of the most important
things in a work of fiction is how things begin, because the beginning is
supposed to draw people into another, thereby giving them the temporary escape
that people desire.

While this hook, or pull, can be created in many different
ways, depending on the genre and the medium used to present a work, series like
this are published in serialized publications, which means that they must start
off in a way that makes sense based on where the last installment left off.

In the previous volume, Yona and her party reunited with
Lady Riri, a character I am still not that fond of, though the people who do
not realize how much freedom they really have in western society are probably
still looking at Riri with starry eyes for her accomplishments in volume
16
, they decided to stay at an inn ran by Riri’s new acquaintance and then
the volume ends with Riri being drugged and the innkeeper using something like
chloroform on Yona saying, “Sleep well, you perceptive young lady.”

In this volume, the volume starts off with Yona regaining
consciousness and Riri asks her what happened, with Yona saying she does not
know, though it feels like they are in a wagon, before revealing they have been
put in slavery and that Riri’s acquaintance was responsible.

While I am not exactly thrilled with this, due it being just
about as predictable as Su-Won killing Yona’s father, it was still the best way
possible way for this volume to begin because reminded me of the events that
transpired in the previous volume and made me want to find out what was going to
happen, even though I do remember what happens in the near future.

If Mizuho Kusanagi had not started off the first chapter of
the first volume like this or Hakusensha, or whoever put this volume together
for them, had start off the volume like the last one, with material that felt
like it should have been included as bonus material, as opposed to part of the
main storyline, I would have been really disappointed, as the volumes do not
generally start off bad, with a few exceptions, and having another volume that
does not start off in an acceptable way would have made me consider dropping
this series.

Fortunately, Mizuho Kusanagi and those that help her try to
put of the best work possible remembered that there was only one way for this
volume to begin, and that makes me want to give them a good round of applause
for making a good decision.

I also liked how it seemed liked Mizuho Kusanagi knew who to
focus on and when.

While this is not particularly a big problem for this
series, unlike The Promised Neverland, which decided to focus on the
demons instead of realizing that I, and many others, were more interested
finding out where Emma and Ray ended up, before Emma actually talked with the
mysterious being she sought, it is still important for writers to know what
needs attention, to increase the excitement and anxiety that a reader needs to
feel at those moments, especially in a series like this.

In this volume, Mizuho seems to know when she can safely
shift focus to other characters and when it is absolutely necessary.

For example, for much of the first chapter of the volume, we
see what Yona and Riri are going through right up to the point where Tsubaru,
Riri’s acquaintance, lets the cat out of the bag and wonders how long Yona and
Riri can hold on when nadai-laced alcohol is all they will get to drink, and
then shifts things over to Hak and the gang.

Unlike what happened when Kaiu Shirai decided that the
demons in The Promised Neverland, who had hardly any screen time beyond
the final page of the first volume, when Emma and Ray stepped through the doors
leading to the seven walls, I was not wondering what would happen to Yona and
Riri. I was more of wondering how Hak and the gang would find out what had
happened to Yona and Riri.

This is how a work of fiction should transition to different
perspectives and give focus on other characters, not leave people hanging for a
chapter or two to find out something that caught the most attention, and Mizuho
delivered.

If Mizuho Kusanagi had made a decision that was as dumb as
Kaiu Shirai’s or the people at Hakusensha allowed that to happen, I would have
been greatly disappoint because this series usually keeps the focus where it
needs to be, and if it just transitioned to Hak or somebody else when my
interest was on something else, that would have greatly affected the overall
quality of the series, as well as my enjoyment with the volume.

Thankfully, Mizuho and those helping her to put out the best
work possible did their jobs well, which makes me want to give them another
good round of applause.

Hopefully, thing remain like this for the rest of the
series, so that it will be able to maintain the reader’s interest when the
series enters its final arc.

Another thing that I liked was how Gija became as conflicted
towards Su-Won as Hak and Yona.

Throughout much of the series, the dragon warrior knew that
Su-Won was the one responsible for the death of Yona’s father and Gija made a
vow to not stand in Hak’s way if he should target Su-Won.

However, when Su-Won starts his assault on Sei territory,
with the reluctant help of Hak, Sinha and Gija encounter Su-Won, who spares
them from a misunderstanding, and Gija wonders why he can’t move, in spite of what
he knows.

Later on, Gija asks Sinha what he thought of Su-Won, to
which Sinha said that he did not get a bad feeling and Gija said that Su-Won
reminds him of Yona.

Seeing this exchange play out, along with Su-Won claiming he
never wanted the throne and it was only necessary for his goals, I wonder if
the bond between Yona, Su-Won, and Hak might get repaired before the series is
over and if he will become a true ally.

If this exchange never happened and the dragon warriors just
accepted Su-Won’s help in rescuing Yona and Riri, I would have been even more
disappointed than if Mizuho had forgotten about when it is appropriate to shift
focus because the dragon warrior would come off as even more perfect than they
already do, thereby irritating me even more than I have been by this series.

Thankfully, Mizuho remembered that her characters needed to
feel a little more human from time to time and decided to make at least one of
the dragon warriors experience some internal conflict, which makes me want to
give her some more applause for job well done.

The thing that I liked the most though is how this volume
ended.

Other than how things begin, another really important part
in a work of fiction is how things end, as it is supposed to leave the audience
with either a sense of satisfaction, if it is either a standalone work or the
final installment of a series, or give the audience an incentive to keep
reading, if it is an installment in a series.

While this is another thing Yona of the Dawn tends to
do pretty well with, with some some exceptions, I have encountered manga that
have not really had the best endings for one reason or another.

Here, however, I get the end of ending I expect and want to
see.

After Gija reveals how conflicted he is with Su-Won, the
focus shifts back to Yona and Riri, who have escaped capitivity, and Yona
decides to look for water, until she realizes Sei troops are heading through
the area.

Moments later, Riri, after unknowingly attracting attention,
hides Yona and gets captured by the soldiers, with the final few panels showing
Yona trying desperately to save Riri from being taken away to be executed.

Even though I would be all too happy to have Riri get
killed, since she has been quite a pain in the butt, with her optimism being
too high and that the only real admirable thing she did in the series was
keep Yona from being captured, I am actually left wondering if Yona will be
able to find the strength to move and keep Riri from being taken because I can
strong feel what Yona feels, not knowing if she will be able to do anything,
which makes me want to read the next volume right now, even though it will not
come out until December, according to the product
listing
on Amazon.

If Hakusensha, or whoever they had put this volume together
for them, had decided to end the volume any earlier or later than this, I
probably would have been disappointed because there was no other place that really
felt like a good place to end the volume, and anywhere else would have probably
given me less reason to continue on with this series.

Fortunately, this volume ended is the best way it possibly
could have, which makes me want to give Hakusensha, or whoever they had put
this volume together, a good round of applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end just as well
as this one did, as that will help keep readers coming back, but because I have
been disappointed before, I am ready to pounce if they make a mistake.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything
else that I particularly liked, at least that stood out as much as what I
talked about.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, Mizuho appears to have a good grasp on when to change perspectives
and focus, one of the four dragon warriors started to feel conflicted towards
Su-Won, which makes me wonder if bridges will be mended, and things ended perfectly,
this was a great read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, nothing really bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
mentioning.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and nothing
to really hate, unless you want to get nitpicky, this was definitely worth
reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Yona of the Dawn, as they
will be able to like this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
I would recommend reading the previous volumes forst, to be able to really
enjoy this.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or if you would
like to check out the reviewed title for yourself, buy
Yona of the Dawn Volume 20
from Book Depository, who offers free shipping
to many countries around the world, so I can continue following this series and
possibly find more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.

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