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The Twelve Kingdoms, Volume 2: Sea of Wind…
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The Twelve Kingdoms, Volume 2: Sea of Wind (original 1993; edition 2009)

by Fuyumi Ono

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200658,750 (4.11)1
Member:PhoenixTerran
Title:The Twelve Kingdoms, Volume 2: Sea of Wind
Authors:Fuyumi Ono
Info:TokyoPop (2009), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Reviewed
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Light Novel, Twelve Kingdoms

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The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind by Fuyumi Ono (1993)

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I'm obviously not going back to this. The crappy English adaptation is probably why.
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
In a time prior to the events of Vol. 1 of the Twelve Kingdoms, the future Kirin of Tai is swept away by a shoku and is not found for 10 years. It is his duty to choose the new King of Tai, but being born and having lived so long in another world he is unfamiliar with the finer points of just how to do this. There are things he would have learned naturally had he never been swept away with which he is now struggling. The oracles of Houzan try to help him by bringing in the Kirin of Kei, who we met in Vol. 1. Keiki is well meaning but austere and self-absorbed. He helps Taiki a little but not enough. The time for choosing the King has come and there are still some very important aspects of the choosing which Taiki does not know or has misinterpreted. This is a gentler and shorter story than the first, less blood and fighting, more emphasis on the characterizations. Having explained much of the system of governance of the 12 Kingdoms in the first book the author did not repeat that part of the structure but concentrated on just the parts concerning the Kirin's relationship to the KIng and the development of the Kirin. I enjoyed it very much. A masterful piece of writing. ( )
  Eurekas | Jan 23, 2013 |
Sea of Wind is the second novel in Tokyopop's English-language release of Fuyumi Ono's fantasy light novel series The Twelve Kingdoms illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. The novel was originally published in Japan as two separate volumes, both of which were released in 1993 under the title Sea of Wind, Shore of Labyrinth. Alexander O. Smith and Elye J. Alexander's English translation of Sea of Wind was originally published in hardcover by Tokyopop's Pop Fiction imprint in 2008 before being released in a paperback edition in 2009. I very much enjoyed Sea of Shadow, the first novel in The Twelve Kingdoms, and so was looking forward to reading the second volume a great deal. Technically, Sea of Wind is a prequel of sorts. Although they are not directly related, the events in Sea of Wind take place before those explored in Sea of Shadow.

Before his birth, the kirin of the kingdom of Tai was swept away by a great shoku, a terrifying storm that rips between worlds. Although the search for him began immediately, it is an unprecedented ten years before the kirin is able to be found. Having been lost in the world Over There, Taiki's return to the world into which he should have been born is celebrated. Taiki never really fit in Over There but because he has been gone for so long he doesn't quite fit in in the world that is welcoming him home, either. He has much to learn about the world he now inhabits and, more importantly, about himself. The kirin play a critical role and Taiki is desperately needed by Tai. But without the knowledge and powers that should have come naturally to him, Taiki must first conquer his own inadequacies before he can fulfill his role.

After the initial chaos surrounding Taiki's disappearance, Sea of Wind begins fairly benignly. Taiki's welcome home is a warm one and he is treated very kindly. But as the novel progresses danger and darkness are introduced to the story. The portrayal of Taiki's growth as a character is particularly well done. His fear, confusion, and distress is almost palpable as he struggles with his newly discovered obligations and responsibilities. Taiki is plagued by doubt and guilt. He wants to please those around him and is terrified of making a mistake. He can hardly be blamed--the fate of an entire kingdom rests on his tiny, inexperienced shoulders. Most of the other characters aren't nearly as well developed as Taiki, but Sea of Wind really is his story more than anything else.

Although Sea of Wind is the second book in The Twelve Kingdoms, it stands quite well on its own. However, there are some scenes that will be more meaningful to someone who has read Sea of Shadow as well. In particular is the appearance of Keiki, another kirin who was introduced in Sea of Shadow. He plays an important role in Sea of Wind, too, and his interactions with Taiki are wonderful. A few of the other characters from Sea of Shadow also make their return in Sea of Wind, which I was very happy to see. As for the story itself, Ono still has the tendency to infodump from time to time. However, I find the world of The Twelve Kingdoms to be so fascinating that I usually didn't mind too much. I am still thoroughly enjoying the series and am looking forward to reading the next volume, The Vast Spread of the Seas.

Experiments in Manga ( )
  PhoenixTerran | Dec 12, 2012 |
An excessively timid boy dorothies to an elaborate world where he's told he's a magical unicorn despite a complete inability to demonstrate magical unicornness. ( )
  meersan | Aug 8, 2008 |
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It was snowing.

Thick, heavy flacks sank down through the sky. The boy looked up to see them: countless gray, thin shadows, cutting across the white of the atmosphere so fast that they seemed to blur. When he followed them with his eyes, they slowed, becoming white again.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Please do not combine others editions with the US release.
The US edition have only one volume for "Sea of the Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth" but japanese and french have two volumes.
So, "Volume 2: Sea of Wind" of the US release (both paperback and Hardcover) IS NOT equal to japanese "風の海 迷宮の岸〈下〉" or french "Le rivage du labyrinthe : Tome 2"
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"Born in Japan and raised as a human, Taiki is overwhelmed when he's brought back to the kingdom of Tai, where he's told he's a kirin. With little knowledge or guidance, he must trust his latent instincts to choose a king for the Kingdom of Tai from among dozens of men and women who seek the position. Will the frustrated Taiki, who can't even figure out how to transform into animal form, make the right choice? And more important, will he discover the kirin that lives within?"--From www.wikipedia.org.… (more)

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