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The Story of Saiunkoku #3

The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 3

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Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.

Shurei has returned to her normal life at home, but once more the palace finds itself in need. She is asked to work as an assistant in the Ministry of the Treasury, but as women aren't allowed in, Shurei must pretend to be a boy!

200 pages, Paperback

First published May 26, 2008

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About the author

Kairi Yura

40 books42 followers
Also known as 由羅 カイリ

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5 stars
269 (43%)
4 stars
210 (34%)
3 stars
111 (18%)
2 stars
19 (3%)
1 star
4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Jane.
1,349 reviews65 followers
May 24, 2017
Haha I didn't remember the dice scene from the anime! Was there one?
Profile Image for Estara.
799 reviews128 followers
June 20, 2011
This manga volume is - as far as I know - taken from the beginning of the second light novel - Shurei has left the palace but is confronted in the very first pages that her experience there has made her dream of becoming a civil servant and helping the population of the empire become so real that the usual fate of a young woman of her age and standing - marriage and a family - are just not something she can see herself grasp any-more.

I love the fact that Shurei is self-aware enough that these are her first musings in this book. Then we get a cut into a nightmare of emperor Ryuki and dialogue with his loyal henchmen Koyu and Shuei to highlight the fact that he has been working like a madman to introduce legislation that might eventually be of help to Shurei.

Because it is summer in Saiunkoku and people are dropping from the heat like flies there is a dual development of Shurei finding a supposedly starving man in front of her home, whom she feeds and houses and who - interestingly enough - is an ooooooold acquaintance of Seiran (who is NOT happy about the meeting at all), as well as Shurei being offered a fetch-and-carry job in the ministry for finances (the most crucial one, because it pays everyone) IF she hides the fact that she is a woman.

So this volume has Shurei finding an even firmer resolution of wanting to work as a civil servant, it has her actively taking the first steps - getting to know some very influential people who have to be won over to her side to reach her goal without letting them find out she's a girl and getting to know that rough and tumble guy called Ensei who came out of Sa province and hides a whole deal of stuff.

Seiran's storyline is explored some more as well (this time we see Shurei's mom and dad from his perspective), mostly because of the shared history with Ensei, and Ryuki learns some more about good and about hasty decisions, but Shurei is front and center once again.
Profile Image for Christina.
535 reviews3 followers
December 17, 2018
This volume continues the story from vol 2 and introduces a few new characters and more about political intrigue rather than romance though the romance is still there but not as prominent in this volume. I enjoyed this manga as well as anime like always as far as the plot and it didn't feel like a filler to me. (In fact it made me want to rewatch the anime which is fun) as far as child appropriateness I believe this particular manga is appropriate for teenagers 12 and up but not any younger just because I feel that the plot may be a too dense. One thing that also may be annoying to people as well is that one of the characters says "we" instead of"I" for example we love her instead of I love her which I dont mind but if you mind that kind of thing you may not enjoy that character or this manga up to this point. So because of these points I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars this is a great manga to read if you need an Asian themed fantasy pick-me-up that doesn't make you go nuts with a cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Kati.
1,755 reviews65 followers
January 16, 2019
I really loved the anime but the manga is starting to bore me. Except for the introduction of Minister Ko and Ensei nothing happened in this volume. All the characters did was talk and their conversations pretty much ran in circles, extolling the virtues of civil servants for the society etc. And the Emperor's one-sided infatuation with Shurei is starting to become really embarrassing, especially since she's all he can think about and she doesn't spare him a single thought, so... it's very cringe-worthy.

I have one more volume bought but if it doesn't really wow me, I might have to drop this series.
Profile Image for Lula.
1,018 reviews46 followers
January 24, 2022
Another great volume!

This one explored Shurei's desire to become a civil servant, despite the obstacle of her gender. She's really such an admirable person—driven, passionate, loving, and intensely focused on what she wants to get done.

I hope we see some great development in her dreams in the next volume!
Profile Image for Amanda Setasha.
1,425 reviews58 followers
November 14, 2018
The characters are still kind of bland and I haven't completely made my mind up about this series yet.
I'll probably finish it because of how short it is, but it's probably never going to stand out to me unfortunately.
Profile Image for L.L. Tibbetts.
Author 6 books13 followers
May 19, 2019
Adorable & touching

This series is so heartwarming. The main character is a very strong female. Loving, intelligent, determined, and incredibly well-written. I love everything about this series.
Profile Image for R.
1,382 reviews2 followers
August 17, 2018
I love this series so much! I love the characters and the illustrations are beautiful. This storyline was especially enjoyable. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Profile Image for Kristina.
307 reviews15 followers
December 31, 2018
This one deals with the effects of vice, dreams, and doing what you can. It is a good reminder not to hide yourself from people and duties, shirking the love.
Profile Image for Stephanie Molnar.
279 reviews8 followers
January 17, 2019
Very wordy edition. Instead of a traditional manga which is pictures with words, a lot of these pages were words with pictures.
Profile Image for Khari.
2,379 reviews56 followers
September 26, 2021

Profile Image for Judyth.
1,629 reviews39 followers
October 28, 2012
[Also available in my blog.]

It has taken me forever to get this volume. And I even have the next one, and have had it for months, but this one was nowhere to be found. The lack of manga availability in my area is frustrating beyond belief.

In the previous two books, I was not very impressed with this series. The language is a bit dense, and I’m not all that interested in the history, and it was just not as interesting as I wanted it to be. But I already had the fourth volume (since I found it on sale), and so I needed to get this one and read it. I was hoping that it would get better, although I had doubts that it would. And in the first half of the book, I was still not really enjoying it, but in that second half… I’m not really sure why, but I started to enjoy it a bit more than I was expecting to.

In this volume, we meet a new character: Ensei, who knows Seiran from some time before. Shurei lets him stay with them, since he has nowhere else to go. Seiran ends up working outside the palace, working to catch some bandits, while Shurei and Ensei work inside the palace with a mysterious, masked, Minister Ko. Where Shurei has to pretend to be a boy, since girls can’t work in the ministry. She doesn’t mind pretending to be a boy, even if it upsets her that she can’t get a job there as a woman.

There is very little of Ryuki in this volume, which was sad because he’s pretty much my favorite character in this series. He’s just so adorable, and it’s so charming how he refers to himself as ‘we’. The little we did get to see of him was nice, and most of it included him working. Also, he spoke up at some meeting and told the ministry how he wanted to allow women to work in the palace. They did not accept this, which just means that he’s going to have to work harder to get them to agree.

I was a bit surprised by this, but only because I hadn’t thought of the possibility of women not working and how much Shurei would like to work there. And I love that Ryuki wants her to so badly. Also, Minister Ko walked out of the meeting, supposedly in outrage, but I believe he knows that Shurei is a girl, or is at least suspicious.

Oh, we also found out that Shurei is afraid of storms, and we got to see a memory of her mother and Seiran. That was cute, and very entertaining to see.

So, for some reason, I am a bit excited to read the next book, and very glad that I already have it. I hope it’s good, but I am a bit wary that it won’t be as good as I want it to be. We’ll see.
Profile Image for Sinai C. .
186 reviews13 followers
June 2, 2012
This book wasn't as good as the others in my opinion, because we're just getting deeper into the story, I guess. The Emperor wasn't in it as much, and though the idea of Serian/Shuri is played on by other characters...the actual two characters themselves never seem to make moves on each other, which is disappointing, though the Prince's gifts and his obvious affection for Shuri is really sweet.

Two Stars for the Artwork: It continues to be beautiful and I think, it's a little better than the anime. The anime is beautiful too, but I just really like the artwork in here.

One Star for Story/Characters/etc: I mean, we do meet new characters (new potential love interests??), and we're moving along with the story of the Emperor trying to become a better ruler and make the Civil Exam open for women as well. And I just think it's really cute. Only because of the lack of romance does this volume not get four stars. Oh! And Seiran has some serious character development! I never knew he could be so..snarky...rather odd.

Overall: 3.5
This series just continues to be cute X)
Profile Image for S. J..
328 reviews52 followers
September 27, 2013
I have to say, other then the fact that Shurei got to work as a civil servant in the place for a while, this book didn't interest me as much as the previous books. I think that's because what really made the story for me was the interactions between Shurei and the emperor Ryuki, how innocent and cute his were and how they really did complement each other so well. I will admit though, I HAVE to find out about the Minister of the Treasury - his mask is driving me crazy.
Profile Image for Debby.
121 reviews3 followers
June 8, 2015
baca versi terjemahan indonesia nya.

dan yakkk asik ui, seperti biasa istilah pangkatnya agak bikin pusing, belom lagi tokohnya bejibum. tapi tetep asik aja di baca. mana pejabat negaranya aneh2 begitu lagi. hi hi hi. dan yak salut dengan shuurei yang selalu semangat untuk meraih mimpi.

semoga next vol tercapai cita cita mu nak. he he he

yak 4 bintang sempurna

dan menunggu dengan semangat next vol nya.
Profile Image for Pinky.
6,544 reviews14 followers
August 20, 2020
Ryuki has a nightmare that Seiran and Shurei get married. It bothers him so much that he fell out of bed and bumped his head. Lady Shurei feeds a hungry stranger named Ensei who seems to know the truth about Seiran. While Shurei dreams of being a civil servant, Ryuki proposes that the civil entrance exam be open to women.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Luna.
1,384 reviews189 followers
May 3, 2016
2-3 Stars
Given up after 4 books.

I love the artwork, I really do - because it’s stunning. Somehow though I’m just not connecting with this series – it’s not bad but after the third book I getting bored and I decided by the end of the fourth that it wasn’t worth continuing. Might return later to try again.
Profile Image for Mely.
803 reviews19 followers
Shelved as 'read-seq-art'
April 30, 2011
Replaced scanlations with Viz edition.

****Spoilers for much later in the series****

I wonder if the storm when Shoukun died is related to the storm spirits who attend Shuurei.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kelly Barry.
143 reviews2 followers
April 29, 2011
Again, full of awesome character development, and while can get a little Anime-style overdramatic, it's part of the series's charm.
Profile Image for Leah Webber.
198 reviews
August 16, 2011
Shurei is brought back to the palace as an emergency aid, and get to live her dream of being a civil servant for a time.
Profile Image for Rachel (Sfogs).
2,001 reviews38 followers
October 26, 2014
So many adventures!
Now Shurei gets to dress up as a boy and help in the ministry, as the heat wave leaves many people unable to work.
Profile Image for BookChicGeek.
125 reviews18 followers
January 22, 2018
3.5 stars. Nothing really happened, it seemed like a part one of a two part story but it was still a pretty decent volume. I like the plotline and that they had Shurei growing more and more into a smart, strong and capable young woman.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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