Manga Review: Crowns and a Cradle by Mayu Takayama and Valerie Parv

May Contain Spoilers

When Sarah wins a vacation to Carramer, she’s excited to enjoy an all expenses paid trip with her infant son.  She could never afford this on her own, and she’s looking forward to unwinding on the island’s beaches.  When she’s singled out by the Prince and discovers that she’s really a princess, she’s shocked.  She knew that she was adopted, and her questions about her birth parents were ignored.  After she meets her grandfather, the Grand Duke, she’s infuriated.  He only wants Christophe, her son, and now the Grand Duke’s only heir. 

The biggest disappointment with Crowns and a Cradle was the lack of depth given to the setting. I have no real sense of what the culture or structure of Carramer is like, and it was frustrating that the background on the island was so flimsy.  How did Josh’s family come to rule Carramer?  Why can only male offspring inherit the title?  Why couldn’t the Grand Duke adopt Josh and pass the title to him??

The events also seemed so dated. Sarah’s teenaged mother was forced to give up her baby because she came from a “good family.” Sarah broke off contact with her family after she got pregnant and was dumped by her boyfriend. The people around her were hostile and didn’t support her decision to keep her baby and raise him by herself. Josh confiscated her passport and the Grand Duke, wouldn’t even consider her wishes for how her infant son was raised. It just seemed more like attitudes from the 60s than from 2002 when this story was originally published and it infuriated me.

Grade: C-

Review copy read on Scribd

About the book:

Sarina wins a radio station prize draw to go on a vacation to the island principality of Carramer on the south Pacific Ocean. As she arrives with her heart full of anticipation, she is greeted by none other than Prince Josquin of Carramer! “What could the royal family possibly want with me?” Sarina’s anxious question is met with a shocking answer from the Prince: “You’re the princess of this land. And we need you.”

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