Review: Yona of the Dawn Manga Series

“I fight so I can survive. I have no desire to bow down to unjust power.”

– Yona of the Dawn Chapter 82

Summary and Thoughts

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?


Inuyasha walked so that Yona of the Dawn could run!!! On a more serious note though, Yona of the Dawn is one of the best (if not, the best) historical shoujo manga I’ve ever read. I’m up to date on the latest chapter: 185 at the end of Vol. 32, and I’m stunned by how Kusanagi is able to believably sustain the tension and urgency of the plot over such a long period of time. The pacing is excellent, the drama non-contrived and exhilarating. Most importantly, the characters are expertly written, with Yona’s characterization especially well-done. Lastly, I rarely enjoy romance in any story (not that I don’t like romance, but I’m rarely convinced of the characters’ chemistry), but Yona of the Dawn has one of the most compelling, grounded romance stories intertwined in its larger narrative. The only drawbacks I can think of would be the occasional filler chapter, a somewhat slow beginning, and some classic shoujo romantic misunderstanding situations (which I’m personally tired of, but can understand why it’s added). Though this manga’s premise isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it’s masterful execution makes it a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical shoujo.

Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

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