A Bride’s Story Volume One is a manga by Kaoru Mori, and it was published in North America by Yen Press in 2011. I don’t see a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but I would personally recommend A Bride’s Story to manga readers who are 14 or 15 years of age and older.
A Bride’s Story is set in the Caucasus region of central Asia during the nineteenth century. At the beginning of the series, 20-year-old Amir Halgal has come to join the family of her betrothed husband, Karluk Wihon. Karluk is eight years Amir’s junior. In the society that Amir and Karluk come from, betrothal is a common practice; however, girls were usually married off by the time they were fifteen or sixteen. Even with this wide age gap, Amir is welcomed into and becomes a member of Karluk’s family. This volume focuses heavily on Amir and Karluk adjusting to their new married life, as well as the obstacles that are placed in their way.
While Amir may be a betrothed bride, she is still a very strong character in her own right. She proves early on that she has acquired skills from her nomadic people, when she takes a bow and arrow and goes out hunting for rabbits in order to make rabbit soup for her new family. However, she also shows that she has a caring side, especially in the section of the story when Karluk comes down with a major cold.
There’s one word I can use to describe Mori’s artwork in this series: ornate. She went into quite a bit of painstaking detail in the art, especially in regards to the characters’ clothing and in some of the backgrounds. In an afterword at the end of the volume, Mori talks about having a strong love for the Silk Road and the Caucasus region of Asia back when she was in middle and high school; her interest in this subject really shines through in both the writing and art for A Bride’s Story.
My 14-year-old daughter, who normally doesn’t like history or historical fiction, decided to give this volume of A Bride’s Story a try. After she finished reading it, she said that she really enjoyed it, which surprised her because of her lack of interest in historical fiction. She told me that she’d like to read more volumes of the series.
Mori has created a story that is easily accessible to both people who enjoy historical fiction and to people who don’t. There’s a very strong start to A Bride’s Story, and I believe that it’s a manga series worth checking out.