Vampire Hunter D Vol. 9

D, the mysterious vampire hunter, is back in his best adventure yet. The talents of Hideyuki Kikuchi most certainly knows no end. In Volume 9, "The Rose Princess," Kikuchi delivers an amazing and intricate story combining every element that makes his novels such a success, in a perfect balance that is beyond any explanation. "The Rose Princess" has easily become my favorite volume from the "Vampire Hunter D" series and can be taken as a standalone story or as part of a series.

Exploring the themes of life and death and immortality, Kikuchi asks: When you make a pact with the Devil, what happens when the Devil wants out?

In Sakuri, a young woman is about to be sacrificed to the vampiric Noblewoman princess who reigns over the village. But before the princess can drain the life from the woman, a young man tries to slay the vampire. He fails and manages to escape, but in doing so incurs the wrath of the entire town. The citizens of Sakuri have entered into a pact with the Undead princess and her monstrous bodyguards -- the Four Knights of the Diane Rose. With the ritual offering disrupted, the vampire's armored bodyguards vow to murder the villagers one by one until the would-be hero is captured.

When D learns of the villagers' bargain, he know he faces several almost impossible challenges -- can he rid the town of the parasitic demons that plague it? What is Sakuri's inhabitants dont' want to be rescued? And can he uncover the secret that even the vampire Noble is afraid to reveal?

Volume 10 "Dark Nocturne" is scheduled for release April 2008. In the meantime, Volume 1 of the new "Vampire Hunter D" manga is now available (my review coming soon).

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