Title: Bride of the Water God Vol 3
Author: Mi-Kyung Yun
Publisher: Dark Horse
May Contain Spoilers
Once again, the stunning art saves Bride of the Water God. The story does get more interesting, as Soah is sent back home to her abusive father and victimized mother. She awakens back in her parents’ home, with no memories of her time with Habaek, save the fleeting feeling that she is forgetting something important. As she tries to settle back into her old life, she must face the villagers suspicion of her, and their accusations that her family has tried to cheat them. When the rains fail to fall and the drought drags on, they begin to wonder if it’s her fault that they are all suffering.
This volume is just as confusing as the previous installments, but I still can’t put this title down. That art is so appealing that it makes up for the confusing shifts in location and character perspective. Trying to figure out what is going on, and keeping the large cast straight, is difficult at times, and I was often forced to go back and reread sections when I became confused.
I do enjoy the moody, somber tone of the story. This volume was especially intense when Soah is returned to her village. Her father is a gambler and a drunk, and he sold her to be the sacrifice for the Water God to pay off his debts. He has since gambled away all the rest of the money, and he is not very happy with her return. Realizing, and rightly so, that everyone will think he’s trying to pull a fast one over them, he doesn’t welcome his daughter with open arms. Her mother has been beaten into submission, so she can’t offer any comfort or protection to Soah. The drought has continued, the village is suffering, and the people are starting to think that Soah is the cause of their misery. Desperate people in desperate times can do some very despicable things, and Soah is about to learn about that the hard way.
Just as Soah is being tested by the villagers, Habaek, is being tested by the other gods. Huye has dark secrets to keep, goddesses meddle in Habaek’s life, and he’s forced to make a wager over whether Soah cares enough about him to remember his name. If she can’t, they will both lose their memories of each other – permanently. Though Habaek has sent her away, he is compelled to keep an eye on her from a distance, watching with obvious displeasure when Dong-Young, Soah’s suitor, comes calling on her again.
Even though the plot is as clear a mud, I still enjoy Bride of the Water God. The lush illustrations make up for the lack of coherence, and I’m still hopeful that things will eventually come together.
Review copy provided by Dark Horse