Sunday, January 08, 2023

Bride of the Barrier Master, vol 1 by Kureha: review

3/5 stars on Goodreads

Bride of the Barrier Master by Kureha

Bride of the Barrier Master is a cute story set in modern Japan with magic and clans protecting the country with it. Families with magic are organised by importance and magical ability, and at the top are the barrier masters who protect the five pillars that support the entire country.

Hana comes from a less-important family and she’s the least important member of it. She’s completely ignored and neglected in favour of her twin sister who is a magical prodigy, whereas Hana is almost without power. She’s emotionally detached herself from her family, so much so that when she suddenly comes to immense power at fifteen, she keeps it a secret from everyone, even though she has to endure constant scorn.

When she’s eighteen, a new barrier master, Saku, comes to power, and he discovers her secret. He needs a powerful wife to bolster the barrier, and so he coaxes her into marrying him, much to the anger and dismay of the entire community who believe he’s chosen a weak bride.

The first volume follows Hana as she changes from nobody to the most important person in the magical community. She’s depicted as selfish and greedy, but in the end she’s the one who saves the day. The romance is on the light side and will likely mostly take place in the subsequent books. Saku was a good romantic hero, though maybe a tad childish for a twenty-four-year-old. Side characters were mostly caricatures.

While I enjoyed the overall story, it wasn’t a terribly good book. The writing style was childish and incredibly repetitive, with same things repeated page after a page, especially in the beginning. It would maybe have worked better as manga. As it is, it made a very light emotional impact. I’m not likely to continue with the series, but younger fans of the genre might like it.

I received a free copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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