Saturday, May 22, 2021

REVIEW: Bride of the Water God (manhwa, vol. 1) by Mi-Kyung Yun, translated by Heejeong Haas

Bride of the Water God is a historical romantic fantasy Korean manhwa. It was (is?) licensed by Dark Horse Comics, but it appears to be out of print now and in limbo. I bought this volume used.


Soah's village is desperate to end a long drought, so they decide to sacrifice her to the Water God, Habaek. Instead of just drowning, Soah wakes up in the land of Suguk, where she learns that Habaek is a child. What she doesn't realize is that the child she sees is only one of Habaek's forms - for some reason, he must spend days as a child but grows into an adult form at night.

I don't know how I feel about this series yet. The story was very slow to get going - all this volume accomplished was introducing several gods I tended to mix up, plus Habaek's mother, the goddess of punishment and torture (how's that for an intimidating mother-in-law?). Also, it appears that there might be a love triangle. Soah initially mistook Huye for Habaek and was relieved that he was good-looking. Also, Habaek might find himself in competition with himself later on in the series, depending on when he finally tells Soah the truth: when Soah first saw him in his adult form, he told her his name was Mui and didn't correct her assumption that he was Habaek's older cousin.

Yeesh, the character relationships are already a bit complicated. At any rate, I own three more volumes and am willing to see where this goes, although the series' out-of-print status makes me hope that it doesn't work for me overall.

The artwork is pretty enough - I particularly like the full-page illustrations. I'm not always a fan of the way the author draws people, though, very long and bony.


A couple full-color pages that are so lovely I wish the entire volume could've been in color, plus an amusing/cute 2-page comic-style afterword by the author.

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