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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 3 by Isuna Hasekura
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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 3 (edition 2010)

by Isuna Hasekura, Ju Ayakura (Illustrator)

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673178,380 (4.13)4
Member:bakabaka84
Title:Spice and Wolf, Vol. 3
Authors:Isuna Hasekura
Other authors:Ju Ayakura (Illustrator)
Info:Yen Press (2010), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Spice and Wolf, Vol. 3 by Isuna Hasekura

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Micro-economics in my fantasy novel!? Its more likely then you think. Once again Lawrence and Holo fine themselves in a new town on their journey to find Holo's home only this time it looks like Lawrence has a rival, Amati, for Holo's companionship and is dragged into a challenge to manipulating the local market by Amati who in an act of youthful brashness wants to marry Holo with a bit of underhanded but legal buisness dealings thrown in to shake things up. It may sound dry but the spice and wolf books have done a good job of making the adventures of a traveling merchant entertaining (see my reviews for books one and two in my 2010 list). You also get to see a step forward in Holo's and Lawrence relationship although for the most part in this one it a bit rocky as secrets that Lawrence has kept about Holos home are reveled. Lawrence as a character probably has the most growth while Holo fear of being left all alone is reintroduced. Overall another good adventure that has me still entertained over a subject that might seem dull. ( )
  bakabaka84 | Jan 7, 2013 |
I have been pleasantly surprised by Isuna Hasekura's Spice & Wolf light novel series. I read the first two books and enjoyed them much more than I expected I would, so it made sense for me to continue with the series and pick up the third volume. Spice & Wolf, Volume 3 was initially published in Japan in 2006 before being released in English by Yen Press in 2010. Once again, Paul Starr has provided the novel's translation and the original illustrations by Jyuu Ayakura, including several color pages, have been retained. Although I wasn't blown away by the first two books I did become quite fond of the two main characters, Lawrence and Holo, and their developing relationship. Even the economic theories that play such an important role in the books haven't managed to scare me off; I was genuinely looking forward to reading the third volume.

After narrowly escaping bankruptcy in Ruvenheigen, Lawrence turns his attention to fulfilling his contract with Holo, the wolf and harvest goddess travelling with him in human form. He has promised Holo to accompany her to her homeland of Yoitsu. Lawrence has heard stories that suggest the place has been destroyed, but he hasn't been able to bring himself to tell Holo that yet. Heading north, the general direction in which Yoitsu lies, the two of them stop in Kumersun in order to take in the winter festival and allow Lawrence the opportunity to research Yoitsu further. He hopes to narrow down its actual location and to discover evidence against its destruction. Unfortunately, finding Yoitsu is not the only thing he has to worry about--a precocious young merchant has fallen in love at first sight with Holo and will do all that he can to win her affection, even if that means ruining Lawrence in the process.

As I have already mentioned, one of my favorite things about the Spice & Wolf light novels is Lawrence and Holo's relationship with each other. And largely because of that, the third volume is probably my favorite book in the series so far because it focuses on that relationship. I've always enjoyed their constant bantering and teasing, but in volume three Lawrence is forced to carefully consider how much Holo has come to mean to him and what his feelings towards her actually are. However, I will admit that it was initially disconcerting to see him refer to her as cargo several times. Ultimately though, taken in context, I decided this was more endearing than offensive. Lawrence can be a very awkward man, is easily embarrassed, and is a merchant through and through, meaning the way he expresses himself is not always particularly romantic or even polite. What is important though is that he cares tremendously for Holo and her well-being.

Not surprisingly, economics are still critical to Spice & Wolf even though the third volume tends to focus more on the story's worldbuilding and Lawrence and Holo's relationship. Lawrence may not be literally fighting for his life this time around, but he is still obviously under a tremendous amount of stress and strain. The supernatural elements of the story are also still there but this time are downplayed in favor of the more realistic aspects of the world. I'm not sure if it's because Hasekura's writing has improved or if it's because Starr's translation has gotten better, but I found Spice & Wolf, Volume 3 to be much easier to follow than the previous volumes, both economically and otherwise. Although new readers might miss out on some of the complexities of Holo and Lawrence's relationship, the series can easily be picked up with the third volume without too much trouble. I very much enjoyed Spice & Wolf, Volume 3 and seeing as the series continues to improve, I'll definitely be reading the next volume as well.

Experiments in Manga ( )
  PhoenixTerran | Apr 22, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isuna Hasekuraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ayakura, JyuuIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Starr, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lawrence and Holo were six days out of Ruvinheigen.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine the light novel with the manga.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0759531072, Paperback)

Having narrowly escaped financial ruin, Lawrence turns his attention to helping Holo find her ancient homeland in the North. But how long can a traveling merchant afford to wander the countryside looking for a village that he suspects may have ceased to exist long ago? When a rival merchant sets his sights on Lawrence's beautiful companion, though, can Lawrence truly be confident that Holo will remain by his side? Has the time come when Lawrence must ask himself whether his relationship with the Wisewolf is business or pleasure?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:58 -0400)

Having narrowly escaped financial ruin, Lawrence turns his attention to helping Holo find her ancient homeland in the North, but when a rival merchant sets his sights on the beautiful Wolf-God, Lawrence must ask himself whether his relationship with her is business or pleasure.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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