Estara's Reviews > Ciel Band 13

Ciel Band 13 by Ju-Yeon Rhim
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Mar 04, 12

bookshelves: manga, read-in-2012
Recommended for: fans of dark fantasy in European like lands
Read on February 25, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** You know that subtitle of the series "The last autumn"? The threads for that start becoming clear in this volume and that means the story turns even darker with regard to most of the characters we have come to know. There isn't as much comedy, because things start moving and being revealed or hinted at.

Considering the huge cast I can't see the series taken less then another 13 volumes, unless Rhim-sensei decides to have major characters drop like flies. hmm.

The first chapter is called "forms/ways/kinds of love" and the interior cover is split between Princess Olivia, January's aunt [the one who died (?)) who had become insane when her familiar killed herself (that's the girl who seemed to be as empty as Yvien thinks herself)] and Jubilaite - all three women of the same generation, who had been together at school. We get a flashback to 17 years before when Euge Eyne, Krohiten's price pupil, breaks into the royal treasury to get back a gift that Krohiten had given to his wife Clara hundreds (thousands?) of years before - a dried rose.

Krohiten wanted the emotion connected to that rose, the residuals of Clara's spirit, freed and the royal house had not allowed him to. Euge (before his loss of memory) is quick and competent, but another girl and Jubilaite have guard duty and to get around them he has no choice but to kiss Jubilaite, which startles the very uptight goal-oriented girl so much she lets him go.

Princess Olivia is glad to hear that Krohiten has gotten the rose back, she hopes this means he will be free to love another (possibly her?). She definitely wants to do everything she can to protect him, as he has protected the royal house.

Jubilaite has made her whole life after Euge vanished into orderly work, as a teacher at school, for example. She knows that she has no special powers and that she can't be unique in her contributions, but she wants to do her best - and she also wants to find Euge. Now that she knows he is alive she wants to dedicate her life to one special task...

Princess Olivia in the current time-line now has to pay the price for being allowed to let the students use major magic to save Newton and the school from the march hare - she has to return to the capital to marry the king - the king she herself chose to be the next king - and beget an heir, even as she can never become queen by the rules of the kingdom.

I already said that the current king has shown himself to be vindictive and unscrupulous - we do not get to see him rape Olivia, but that he does so is clear. He hits her a blow to the face to make her unconscious and as only servants are watching no one dares help her - and then he rapes her (we don't see it, but when Olivia wakes up the next day it is pretty clear).

The next day the king tells January (who had suffered under his family since he was born) why he hates Olivia so much, she picked him when she was a teenager and he was maybe 8 or 10 to be the next king. She didn't do it because she liked him better than the other choices, but because he was the youngest, so she would have some more free years (presumably to love and support Krohiten). Little Miel (French for Milk) was unprepared for the honour and the manipulations involved in raising him to be king and when he realised Olivia's aim, he started deeply hating her.

You know I think he compares himself to January, whom he trusts a lot - but truly, he wasn't as abused as January ever was, he didn't have to train to drink poison, there were no attempts on his life. Of course it is desperately heartbreaking to find out that the one you love doesn't love you and picked you deliberately - but she was a teenager and he was 8 or 10. None were full of wisdom. Now he's in his 30s and he has been spinning his threads and enjoying killing small things for decades: I don't believe because you were hit by your parents that you need to hit your children when you have some! So this reasoning does not work for me and so far I see the king as the one true evil person in the series.

Another thread of the story comes to a climax when Daughter recognises the man who abused him as a small girl (and killed the people sheltering him in the whore house) and decides that even though he has misgivings, he needs to stop that part of his life hanging over him - he kills the Lord in the open and not with magic or his sword, but a gun.

I found the appearance of another of the Arc Dragons, Helga Queen of Hell, who dragged the truth out of one of the former helpers and witnesses of the killed Lord's order to murder the whore and his eventual rape of Nicky/Magotte/Daughter, fascinating. She makes him face his misdeeds which leads to him losing his eyesight and blood tears running out of his eyes.

Meanwhile Yvien develops a desire to see Krohiten and return to Newton, and with the help of andeus-ex-machina appearance by Marion Everett and her husband Scar she walks through the air until Krohiten saves her from losing her footing on the invisible pathway.

Jubilaite meets Euge again, now that he has returned to work at Lowood school. And she tells him that she won't have him arrested as long as she is the one that everyone thinks wants him most. She will shelter him. That she feels privileged to be the one person who can keep him free. And she is quite aware, and tells him so, that she thinks it romantic to dedicate her life to the one man who ever kissed her - she's not interested in winning him from his wife. She made her own life with her average power to be something she can live with, but she is exultant she can be of use to him. I find Jubilaite an amazing woman.

Euge: You aren't the little girl from before. You've become much more calm and relaxed.
Jubilaite: That's true. Do I have to understand why women are so afraid of turning 30? Life gets so much more interesting later on...


And then Yvien asks Krohiten if they can't become a couple after all. Rhim-sensei signifies the impact this request has on the Sky Arc Dragon as multitudes of breezy hands stroking his face and clinging to him, so I feel fairly confident in saying that the "final beautiful dream" he considers Yvien to be is a burden to him. He has the feeling he can't escape whatever is coming up any more. He will not answer that question to her directly because "arc dragons can't lie".

Krohiten: "I have lost against you(plural). But it doesn't feel that bad. Do what you want."

From the impressions during their first stroll together after this and from Krohiten's interior monologue it seems that Yvien as one in the long, last lines of mages Krohiten raised (and who might be even closer related, considering he did have a human mage wife once) for his purpose is in some way created just for him and therefore he has loved for her, the culmination, since before she was born. He doesn't say what kind of love though... I think it's probably father love.
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Reading Progress

02/25/2012 "Oh, dear, the emotional shit is really hitting the fan. This whole series seems now based on the exploration of the power of love - the destructive side (obsession) coming to the fore. I sure hope the healing side, which I've occasionally seen, will be able to redeem what is happening now."

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