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Threads of Time, Vol. 2 by Mi Young Noh
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Threads of Time, Vol. 2

by Mi Young Noh

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This review was originally written for the website ListerX.com, which is now defunct. It can also be found on my blog, The Graphic Librarian.

Cover
Once again, bright vivid colors practically dance across V.02's cover. To some artists, using almost every hue in the rainbow would be considered a death wish, yet there's something oddly pleasing about Noh's illustration. The poses are excellently rendered and somehow manage to look both relaxed and tensed for action all at the same time. The cover also seems to confirm that Atan Hadas, the nameless girl from the end of V.01, will begin to play a much ore important role from now on. The title font and back cover have remained the same. The only significant change is that the red background design has turned forest green, most likely to keep the red from overpowering the already warm-hued image.

Artwork
To be honest, my opinion of the artwork hasn't changed too much from the last volume. The hair still bothers me and the speed lines still do little more than get in the way; however, the body proportions are still fabulous. There's only one new annoyance, although it may just be my copy, several pages look as if they didn't run through the printer properly and appear extremely washed out. On the plus side, there are several well-rendered fight scenes and the chapter breaks have some amazing full-page illustrations. Another thing that I really have to admire are the costumes. While I don't claim to be even vaguely familiar with 13th century Korean fashion, Noh does a very nice job of creating a multitude of costumes which, although different, all work well with each other.

Plot
**Possible Spoilers Warning**

This volume opens almost exactly where V.01 left off, with Atan Hadas dressed up as a boy so she may compete in an archery contest which will give the winner a high standing in the Mongol army. However, it's hard to believe she's fooling anyone; the girl is well-endowed to begin with and even dressed as a boy her chest seems more than obvious. Anyway, as expected, she competes, wins and is quickly discovered. Nevertheless, since the prize has already been promised, she earns the title of Chiliarch, which gives her command of 1000 soldiers. Unfortunately, there's a stipulation due to her sex - she must take a husband. So, right then and there her hand is given to Sali Tayi, the young and handsome Mongol general who's been charged with conquering Koryo. Interestingly, he's no happier with the arrangement than she is and the reason isn't entirely clear. Nevertheless, Atan is given the task of sneaking some of her troops into Koryo under the guise of merchants. While they are allowed entry, a close watch is put on them. We also learn that although Atan wishes to be acknowledged as a warrior, she does not believe in unnecessary killing.

Briefly, we also see that Moon Bin is quickly becoming more attached to the people in Sa Kyung's household, especially his counterpart's mother. All of this seems to stem from the fact that Moon Bin has never had anyone to care about him the way these people do about Sa Kyung. Despite this, the displaced young man is still seeking answers, so when a cryptic old monk appears who seems like he might have some, Moon Bin follows blindly behind and winds up running headlong into none other that Atan Hadas. . . who's in the middle of bathing! Their meeting is brief, but according to the monk, Fate has had a hand in it.

Meanwhile, Sa Kyung's father is alerted to Atan's ruse when some expertly slain bandits are discovered buried in the woods. He immediately sends a troop to hunt them down with orders to kill only if necessary. Atan Hadas and her men are, or course, found and the slaughter begins. However, Fate once again intervenes and Moon Bin arrives on the scene just in time to save Atan from a very gruesome demise, though not before she receives a compromising chest wound which Moon Bin has to help her bandage. She swears to repay him one day and then leaves to return less than gloriously to her husband's camp. Sali Tayi intends to use here failure as an excuse to leave his new wife behind, but Atan is still one step ahead of him, and she's found the perfect way to make things go her way.

Content Warnings
Language = Yes.

Violence = Yes - All of the fight scenes have some blood, but any major graphicness is only hinted at, never shown.

Nudity = Lots of suggested nudity, but most of it is covered in some way. Also, there is a profile of Atan's nipple during the bathing scene, if that sort of thing bothers you.

Sexual Situations = One 'almost' situation, but it doesn't pan out, so to speak.

Ratings
Cover - 7/10 - It shows skill and competence, but is not one of my favorite covers for this series.

Artwork - 7/10 - Not much new here from V.01 - same basic pros & cons as before. The artwork is nicely done, but there are ways it could be improved.

Plot - 7/10 - The scene is still being set, but this story shows a lot of promise and with 11 volumes total, I'm hoping I won't be disappointed.

Overall - 7/10 - So far I'm really enjoying this series. The characters are interesting, the story is entertaining, and I'm definitely interested enough to want to read V.03 when it comes out. ( )
  purpledragon42 | Jan 2, 2007 |
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"The Mongol princess Atan Hadas, determined to prove that a sword alone doesn't make the warrior, disguises as a man in order to enter an archery competition. Later, when the forces of Koryo attack her, she stumbles across the familiar face of Sa Kyung. But what will he do to this woman who is attacking his country?"… (more)

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