Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Heine's efforts to shape the princelings into worthy successors to the throne continue, but it seems that Bruno in particular is struggling with a bit of a crisis of conscience when it comes to his future. Can he live up to Heine's standards to remain his "apprentice"? More importantly, does he have the courage to carve out his own path?
Bruno is on the cover of this volume, so I was expecting there to be a focus on him in this one, but I was pleasantly surprised that there was a nice chunk of Bruno...but also the other Princes! I have to say...I always have to take a few moments to stare at the gorgeous art on the cover...and then on the full colour page...and then the chapter covers....I spend a lot of time admiring the artwork for this series. It's gorgeous and it really fits with the series! There's a brilliant amount of detail, and some nice fancy touches too!
This volume gives us some fun character profiles on the inside covers, and I'm going to be interesting to see if they come to anything...but I don't want to spoil it so you'll just have to see! This volume has some brilliant little episodes, all while driving the story forward and having each seemingly separate episode...actually relate to Bruno and his doubts and struggles in the last chapter.
Heine has Adele join the Princes for a little art lesson, and Leonhard is amusingly clingy. But this volume lets us see how far Leonhard has come since we first met him. He's changed a little bit, deciding for himself not to give up at the first hurdle and push himself forward rather than running away like he used to do. Without too much prompting from Heine too! He genuinely wants to study and has questions...and I'm so proud you guys! *sniffle*
Interestingly, Licht appears to be on to Heine. He may be my favourite but I do acknowledge that he seems like an air head at points....but it's pretty clear that's just an act. He knows Heine and the King must know each other and he offers to be there for Heine, a nice touch...and it's also setting us up for some reveals about Heine!
Leonhard and Bruno get to work with their father so we get a day in the life of Viktor, allowing us an opportunity to get to know him more, and see how he interacts with his sons more. As well as letting us see the Princes strengths and weaknesses and how they approach certain situations...and see what kind of King they may be. We get a lot of insight in to Bruno, not entirely unexpectedly, as well as his motivations and his relationship with the eldest Prince, whom we haven't met yet! I'm waiting for him to appear and cause all kinds of chaos. Not going to lie.
Poor old Bruno has a rough ride this volume, he struggles with what he wants to be and do and his achieve and what he thinks he can and can't do. It was quite relatable, to be honest, I really empathised with him and was rooting for him to overcome it! I did pause when he was offered a certain opportunity and I genuinely wasn't sure which way he was going to go, despite having seen the anime! Things are quite different you know, and we've got so much manga only content recently!
The bad news is the Count or whatever he is, is still meddling with the Princes and it looks like he's finally set his sights on Heine next. Next volume could be the volume we've all been waiting for....the one that reveals Heine's history, who he really is, where he came from and how he knows the King! Or it could, you know, build up to that and then leave us on a cliffhanger...
Volume Four is another solid instalment in a series that's both heartwarming and humorous, with four Princes that are shockingly relatable! The plot moves forward at a nice pace and everything weaves together perfectly!