Other creators involved in the making of this manga include: Translating by Adrienne Beck and Lettering by Lys Blakeslee
Content/Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping, death, violence, mass murder/democide.
“Just wait! I’ll rescue you!”
In this world that’s divided in two; The Inside and The Outside, we find mortals fighting to survive from the Cursed Ones and the Cursed Ones searching for souls. But in this divided world we follow Teacher and Shiva as they struggle to stay together among the chaos erupting around them. We last left Teacher and Shiva coming back from meeting other Outsiders. As they walk the trail on their way home, a voice breaks through the forest and Shiva abandons Teacher to follow it. Teacher is left alone in confusion, calling after Shiva, but Shiva is already gone.
Volume Three hits hard and fast with a whirlwind of emotions and shock. If you haven’t read this series yet then please click away, but if you’ve made it this far then read on! I will keep this as spoiler free as possible (with content as well as images), but it so hard!
As I mentioned, Volume Three delivers a storm of twists and shock. I knew at some point things would escalate, but I never expected things to escalate this quickly. I ended up reading this book in thirty minutes and I have usually take my time when I read these books, but I was in deep. There was a seed so deep of needing to know what will happen next. This might be my favorite book of the series so far!
“Oho! Can’t you guess? I wished with all my heart to be with YOU again.”
Our story begins where Volume Two last left off. Shiva has run off into the forest by herself without Teacher. We soon learn her Aunt (Auntie) has come back to retrieve Shiva. However, everything is not as it seems. Between her Aunt actually attempting to kidnap Shiva, refusing to listen to Teacher, and then the ambush set up by the soldiers, things are not going well for out two main characters. And soon they have been separated in this divided world. Shiva has been taken away under observation and Teacher has been left behind, alone in the Outside. Until things begin to escalate in the greatest and worst way possible.
In Volume Three we get to see a lot more of the Inside. We know it’s walled off from the Outside and that the rest of the humans live there, but what I really loved most was the dirty little secrets we discover. In this volume, two major secrets are revealed to us as the reader. First, we learn what the Inside, more specifically the Church, what they have planned for Shiva and kind of why they needed her so bad. And then the second secret we learn what the King/Church are doing to their own people on the Inside. Not only does this give us more clues as to the big picture this whole series is painting, but we’re slowly learning about Shiva and why she’s, in a sense, special. Also, in this section we also get a lot of Black Death themes and democide. I thought this was so well done. These are two concepts that aren’t used that often in fantasy or dark books. To see the way the author of this book took these two themes to bend them and twist them to their own story, I was in awe.
This is definitely a dark fantasy and it doesn’t shy away from adding some dark elements. And speaking of dark vibes, the amount of Cursed Ones that end up flocking to Teacher is an enormous amount and also alarming. Not only do the dogs and the stranger end up coming back, but we get introduced to these weird birds. Their heads are kind of shaped like a miniature crocodile head (expect for the one with two heads). What’s even more interesting is how all these creatures act once Shiva has been returned to the care of Teacher. And speaking of the Cursed Ones, the newest edition to following Teacher and Shiva is quite interesting especially the behavior. She’s kinda sheepish or ram looking! It’s absolutely fantastic!
I think my most favorite moment in this book was Shiva finally reuniting with Teacher. She so traumatized and so lost in the chaos that once she’s in the presence of Teacher, he’s the one truth that she knows. It was such a beautiful moment and so heart warming. Then the way where she just runs and ends up hugging Teacher, it made me heart melt. It was the sweetest and innocent moment. I wish books did more precious moments like this. It truly warms my heart.
“We can’t steal it back by ourselves either, of course. But… If we all go, perhaps we might succeed.”
Overall, I’m eager for the next volume. Volume Three has left off on some major questions and I need answers! This book is rich in world building and creating a bond so thick between our two main characters. I’m so excited to see what will happen next, to see what will become of the Inside, will Shiva be okay, what will Teacher do to keep Shiva safe, and how and when will the Church retaliate?! So many questions for such an interesting story. I highly recommend this manga series especially if you’re fans of anything dark fantasy related, if you adore The Ancient Magus Bride, and if you like mysteries then this is a series you should definitely check out. The world building is absolutely stunning and the artwork is gorgeous. If you couldn’t tell, I really love this series and I can’t recommend this series enough!
“Every single villager became a monster. All because of that girl from Outside.”