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Kuroshitsuji 130

Nothing really happened this chapter. Except that whenever I see Vincent knowing that he had twins, I would expect him to spend the next couple of days just thinking about names. And he clearly looked surprised. 

Before: 

After: 

And during this wedding, did Frances manage to comb his hair or something. Seems as though it is possible, since Vincent would probably never let his bangs be swept back. 

Generally, nothing really happened, except that Ciel acknowledged that he had a twin. And he was his spare. That’s really all that was to this chapter. Nothing much, other than Tanaka appearing fine, and not just disappearing. 

However, I did want to know more about their relationship together. Since right now, Ciel is pretty hostile, and if he is responsible for Agni’s death. I won’t see a pretty ending coming. 

As for what the Earl did on that day, when he was taken by the cult. Perhaps he had done it intentionally and causes Ciel to be the one who was sacrificed on the altar, or perhaps it is the Earl who wanted to escape. But it does suggest a lot more than survivors guilt, remember, this manga is dark. And Yana would love to subvert this and present a twin relationship that ended in one sacrificing the other, and one coming back by brutally killing one of the Earl’s companions. I would say forget about good brotherly relationships. 

As for why Ciel could come back, the way Sebastian mentioned that he never seen someone like this. Perhaps it is someone who has lost their soul yet managed to be standing and normal. Since chances are, Sebastian ate his soul as the price for him to come to the Earl. 

Well, I do want to know what the Earl’s real name is. Chances are, it is one of the older names Yana thought of using. Or even an anagram of Ciel, but I’m curious. There is a crack theory that Vincent may have called the Earl, Earl Ciel. But I’ll leave it up to the next chapter. 

 

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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars 

This was a really a tale where it hooked me, with little trouble at all, it did all the work to make me interested in it. Jepp’s story, begins at an inn, slowly moving to the court and eventually finding out who he is. 

And what a set of twist it had, the way almost all of it slowly builds Jepp before revealing more about his life. His background and even who he was. This story slowly went with Jepp, who was a really interesting and good character from the very beginning. His fascination with his identity, which get sidelined because of him entering the court. 

Then, he starts to know more about the court. And at the end, his entire background was within the court itself. Which is a really nice thing, to come full circle and come together. 

As for the two girls that takes up Jepp’s life, Lia and Magdalene are very different. Lia wanted to be free, even if it meant she died. But if she died free, it was even better for her. As for Magdalene, she was an interesting character, with the knowledge and talents which I really like. She is someone who I really can like, and see why Jepp liked her. She isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong, but stands firm on the ground when it’s needed. 

I didn’t think that this was historical fiction at first, eventually I really liked it when at the end all of this characters had a part in history. All of them, had a place in history. Some had bad endings, some had better endings. But I was completely fine with the liberties taken, Magdalene deserved better and Jepp was a really good choice. Tycho, being one of the most accurate astrologers and having an artificial nose was interesting. 

And most importantly, was dealing with Jepp who barely left a name in history. The way he would end his story, is like what I would say perfect. It doesn’t botch up history, but nonetheless creates a happy ending which I enjoy. And I nonetheless prefer. 

For all that Jepp suffered through, all that Jepp been through. I enjoyed the fact that Jepp having moments of doubt and moments where he is firm. That he is a master of his one destiny, and that he is what drives it. Rather than the other way around. 

And the writing, it had to be the reason why I liked it in the first place. It managed to grip me, all the while maintaining this style. The way that it seemed to have been from a long time ago. The way it was simple to read without me ever wondering where it was heading. That takes a lot. 

So, I loved this book. The way everything was handled. Surprisingly, I really did. And if you like a book which deals with fate astrology, and uses actual history, then you should check this out. It is the perfect fit for you. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Worlds Of Ink And Shadow 

A book about the Bronte family, in which three of the women became famous writers in a time where no woman is actually encouraged to do it. And I really was curious, as to what their personalities were like. But their entire character feel flat and even dull. 

And that it can be rather messy, sonetimes we are in their heads, in another world or in daily lives. Those aren’t the easiest way to discern what is happening amongst them, and more often than not I was confused. At least until half way where it was explained what Vendropolis was to them. 

And all of a sudden, the fantasy becomes important and is inserted. I would have liked a little more hints, a little more time to develop this. Such as Charlotte actually thinking about what it is. Although I do see why Charlotte is careful not to cross over when it is revealed. 

As for what Emily bargains at the end, I do admit that it is well thought out given the biography of them. That she and Anne died within a year of each other, and young too. 

But the characters are bland and tasteless, they barely have any other personality other than what you could read from their books. There is really no life to them, no real complexity in their characters. The fact that they dream, they write and eventually manage to get critical acclaim. I would have wanted more on their personal lives, there is a degree that the author could have taken liberties with. 

But keeping some traits associated with them would have been understandable. But other than that, nothing is really developed about them. Their relationship, I could say they could have a lot more nuances and a lot of flaws more than just what I see. They barely were characters and I barely even cared about them, least of all think them as actual people who existed in history. 

So, I just didn’t care enough about this book. Although the fantasy aspect was interesting, but the characters could have been developed better, to be more vivid and real. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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The Landlord 

This was a very was mystery, it didn’t feel very dark or grim. And the ghost story to me, was not all that frightening. 

 But nonetheless, I did enjoy it as Allie continued to search about the mystery 200 years ago. All the while the flashbacks 200 years ago are good, revealing much more and giving us the full story. As Allie discovers it, the flashbacks are quite well placed to show what happened. 

Although this mystery is the main one, I would still have preferred if it really tied back to reality. That the entire story had a real reason why someone wanted to uncover it, like a treasure, a reason. More than just a potrait. 

It does seem a little strange there, but the ending is rather nice too. The way it settles everything and ties it up. However, I would say that the main issue is that it really doesn’t feel very clever. It doesn’t feel mysterious or move me to think about the mystery. Or really give me a reason why Allie should be spending all her time. 

As for the ghost story, the only place where it really occurs is where Lizzie is talking to Allie. But I would have wanted more interaction, more clues, and also a deeper motivation to do so in the first place. Lizzie was just there, in the present, and the other characters who were more involved were all missing in the present. 

Since this is a ghost story, I wish there was more liberties taken with the ghosts. The mansion which is over two hundred years old, and possibly the secrets behind it. The various owners could have done a lot. 

As for the affair between Lizzie and Thomas Fitzroy, being one sided and quite horrible. I could see that from the very beginning, and fell a little flat at the end. It wasn’t all that I expected, and I would have preferred a deeper exploration of his obsession with her. Why was he so interested in her, and why no matter what he wanted her. To the point he kept her portrait in the house. 

I also didn’t feel the parallels to this, or how it links to the present timeline. The mystery, to me could have been explored further. Explored and related the current situation. Although it was a nice ghost story with the flashbacks over two hundred years ago, being very well researched and explained. There are still points where I believe it needs work too. But, overall I really enjoyed it. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Jane Steele 

Jane Steele is surprisingly good, given that Jane here despite all her faults, despite all her murders managed to be sympathetic. She managed to make me feel for her situation. And I couldn’t turn away from her story the moment I read it, where everything goes downhill for Jane very quickly. 

Jane, whose mother may be a lunatic was sent to a schoolhouse where its headmaster is even worse. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Jane Steele. As a murderer, she doesn’t regret too much. And most of them really deserved it, the fate that they got through the abuse of their power. I really enjoyed that part where Jane murdered them, and at the same time there were consequences for them. 

Even though she murdered one to save herself, the other to save her vest friend. The third for a woman who took her in. Her motives felt real, it felt plausible. And for her who already has her hands stained from the very beginning, she didn’t too much. At best, she was getting rid of another trash for the world. And I really like that. 

And then comes in Charles Thornfield, a man who also has his fair share of secrets and vices. And the moment at the end, where Jane and Charles have a long talk and she reveals all her secrets, I loved every inch of it. There is this charm about him that makes him fascinating, and that he is someone that accepts Jane for who she is. For me, I agree that most of the people she killed had it coming for them eventually. 

The plot is rather simple, and at the same time filled with plenty of obstacles that Jane encounters. Be it from those she killed, or those that she killed for. But it begins to change the moment she becomes a governess at the household she used to work at. Where Charles is introduced, and his character becomes interesting in the way he managed to keep Jane at a distance, yet still grew fond of her. And Jane, wanting to know more or finding the house strange. 

As for the style, where sometimes it breaks the fourth wall given that Jane sometimes speaks to the reader instead. But I found it quite endearing and interesting as an element to the writing. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book for what it is. Jane being a murderess and one that felt bad and at the same time didn’t look back on her victims. Charles who took in all she was, at the end. All the while looking at the society with all their problems, from headmasters abusing their power, to husbands deciding to marry another time. I would say that this is rather interesting and paints the Victorian world a lot less glamorous and lush than it seemed. Unless of course, you were of the nobility. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Long May She Reign 

This was a pretty surprising book, one where focused on a lot of politics, a lot of mystery. But zero on fantasy. So, if you want action and fantasy, avoid this. But if you like reading about schemes, then this is the book for you. 

And it is the book for me. Watching Freya becoming a queen, all the while facing plenty of revolts, people who do not believe her a queen. Having to win support from the people, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so very much. The romance only takes a small portion of the book, and Freya isn’t too stupid to believe that Fitzroy is completely innocent. And I do like how she even thought of her own father. 

Although the court isn’t as cutthroat as I expected, isn’t making her make the hard decisions as I expected. But it wasn’t anywhere safer. Motives could be as simple as wanting a better future. As simple as hoping for a better kingdom.

What I did like was showing Freya finding herself as a queen and having to assert herself. But I would have still preferred she was dealing with a lot more of hard decisions. Decisions which is very hard to make, both sides are pretty horrible but she has to pick the best of the lot. 

Another downside is the lack of worldbuliding, the fact that there is nothing on it. I would think that this should have been marketed as historical fiction, where it would have been believed way better given the lack of magic and use of science as explanation. 

As for the schemes here, the way the poisoning was done was rather intelligent. Using the king himself, and his own personality traits against him. All the while throwing suspicion off herself. I really like the murderer because it was such a sound plan, and that she has a much better mind. 

One thing that I do like about this book is the way it treats female friendships as important. The world is also not sexist. The court has many female characters. Madeleine gets a special mention, since she clearly is intelligent and although she won’t be able to support Freya in the end. Well, I like her for her intellect in thinking and her ability to scheme which makes me think that she should have been queen. Since she still has her conscience but with enough intelligence to get rid of all sorts of threats. But Freya is a rather nice choice too. 

Overall, I would say that this is a book filled with court intrigue. If you want fantasy, don’t read this. If you enjoy reading about a queen learning to rule, a queen having to find her own identity as a queen, her own way to rule. Also at the same time, how can someone go from nobody to becoming a queen, and one that indeed does know how to rule all the while keeping her conscience and not having her hands completely stained with blood by the end. Also, with only a touch of romance. Check this out this book as it is for you. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Blood Rose Rebellion 

The first fifty pages were good, them everything went downhill. What killed this book for me? The romances Anna and various young men that I could barely be bothered to remember in explicit detail. The middle where almost nothing happened. 

I feel as though Anna could have been an antihero, one that was done well. She was angry with them, for condemning her just because she had no magic. That honestly was what was the drawing point, the fact that she didn’t have any powers. But the way it was handled, didn’t leave it much to be desired. 

The execution was rather poor too, the beginning was rather strong. She was sent to Hungary because of her scandal, and I would prefer that Anna had found a real reason why she wanted change. The many lurking reasons why she would have wanted to end this and free magic rather than allow it to continue. But it wasn’t explored at all. It never was really given enough depth at all. And it was like, she wants to break it for people. But she barely had seen some horrible things to say that kind of things. Quite reasonable reasons, but almost no justification. 

I did really like the world, be it about Luminate society, magic, or even about the fact that there was a way to restrict it. I really enjoyed this world regarding the distribution of magic, the way that many choose to abide due to their own worry that they will lose their magic. Or the fact that a rebellion happened, it was bound to occur. 

But other than that, the pacing was slow, and it was in the wrong way. Anna danced, kissed, flirted with all sorts of men. When I see that it could have been turned to the world, the true reality of her world. The way that she would find a reason as to why she should break the binding. And even making the word a little more grey, a little more fleshed out. 

But it all went to the endless romances, with some gone, some dying. Even then, I couldn’t care less about it.

So, overall I would say the world intrigued me, Anna was interesting until she became obsessed with boys and the fact that she thought of breaking the binding for them. There wasn’t really any reason why she should do so. I was expecting more stakes for her, more reason for her to do so. But I was sorely disappointed. 

Rating: 2 out of 5