Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Rose Princess by Hideyuki Kikuchi (5/5 stars)

It is hard to believe that this is the 9th book in the Vampire Hunter D series from Hideyuki Kikuchi. These books never seem to be a burden to read and are nice because they each tell a self-contained story with D and his world being the connecting thread between books. This was a great book and the illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano were, as usual, stunning.

The citizens of the village of Sakuri make an exceptionally good living. Their crops are plentiful and their weather is pleasant, they are protected from the evil outside of their village. That is, as long as they make the occasional sacrifice to the Rose Princess. The Rose Princess and her knights protect the village in return for the occasional young villager to be the Princess's meal. One of the villager's sons tries to rescue the most recent sacrifice; upsetting this careful balance. The villagers are put under "village arrest" until the young man who caused all the trouble is found. Enter D into this disturbed village where he promises to carry out his mission to destroy all Nobility which in this case, is the Rose Princess herself.

Once again, the characters in the book have more depth than some of the earlier books. The book is fast paced and the fight scenes are creative. I love the addition of the four knights. The Rose Princess is an interesting character and it is nice to have a feisty female lead.

I have liked most of the Vampire Hunter D books but this one was especially good. I had trouble putting it down and read through it in just a couple nights. I am excited for the next one. I love the unique fighting abilities and the slow unveiling of D as a character that happens in this series in general.

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