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A Bride’s Story

A Bride’s Story
By Kaoru Mori

Kaoru Mori’s Victorian romance, Emma, was justly acclaimed for historical accuracy, sumptuously detailed art, as well as patience and clarity in visual storytelling. With her new series, A Bride’s Story, Mori joins the ranks of the medium’s most accomplished creators with a narrative style that is uniquely her own. This time around, Ms. Mori’s pen brings nineteenth-century central Asia to life. The principal character is Amir, a twenty-year-old woman from a nomadic tribe who is given in an arranged marriage to twelve-year-old Karluk from a settled village.

Amir is easygoing and thoughtful, both necessary attributes as she adjusts to cultural differences and developing feelings for her new husband. She has many useful skills that help her begin to make a place for herself in her new environment. But, as Amir strives to find her place in the village, her birth family decides they could have made a more profitable arrangement for her. Now, they’d like her back, please.

There’s a reason that cartoonists and animators usually avoid the sort of painstaking detail Ms. Mori routinely displays. If you have to draw a costume or background thousands of times, it’s necessary to streamline it so that you don’t kill yourself in the effort. Mori was apparently born without that sense of self preservation, ’cause she dives into the historical and visual minutiae with evident glee. But, as a master storyteller, she never hits the reader over the head with her research. Instead she uses it to craft a palpable world that draws the reader irresistibly, in a tale that is spellbinding from the first page to the very last.