The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind, Volume 2

Almost one year has passed since the first of seven books of Fuyumi Ono's "The Twelve Kingdoms" was released. And finally, the second installment, "Sea of Wind," arrives. Once again, translation is done exceptionally well and Ono's stylist writing is preserved. By the end of the first book, after a roller coaster adventure in a strange land, Yoko begins to accept her role in one of the Twelve Kingdoms. The second book takes us 3 years before "Sea of Shadow," and follows a young boy, named Taiki. Like Yoko, Taiki is taken to a whole new world and given their true purpose. Yet Yoko and Taiki's role is quite different. Taiki must take a crash course on what it is to be a kirin, with noone able to give him any details, all the while having a whole kingdom depending on him.

Though the experience may have been short-lived, as I finished the book in a couple of hours, it was constantly riveting throughout, and had incredible lasting appeal. Even days after I closed the book, the ending moments still captivated me. Ono definitely knows how to keep such a vast and boundless story going, connected and utterly precise. Volume 2's "happy ending" is bittersweet as we all know that tragedy is surely coming just around the corner. Even with this knowledge, we're still left with more questions than answers. I'm sure anyone who reads this will be itching for the third volume. I know I am.

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