Manga Village

When the kingdom of Arbansbool is invaded, the prince escapes with a handful of his closest attendants. But these aren’t just any attendants. They’re all maids whose job is to pour tea, not raise an army and help the prince reclaim his throne. Now chief maid Cacao Sardonyx and her five colleagues must take up arms and save a kingdom in this skirt-slashing, tea-spilling epic!

Originally reviewed by Dan Polley
Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Genre: Adventure
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Price: $10.99

The Prince of Arbansbool, Alex Arbansbool II, is a really pig-headed and selfish boy. Yet, for some reason, Court Maid Cacao seems to help him when in need.

It’s a bit weird because she was a performer in a circus but took a shop to serve as a maid when she was selected to do so. She did so because the money would be good and she could then choose to fulfill her life’s dreams afterward.

Instead, a neighboring kingdom invades Arbansbool, forcing the prince and his close attendants, most of whom are maids, to escape through a back and secret way. The prince’s bodyguards were killed, so the maids are forced to care for this pig-headed prince.

The group heads away from the kingdom to the north, where a safe haven was set up for emergency situations. There, the group finds power and help that can wreak havoc on the invading kingdom.

Then the action heats up. The traveling companions head to a nearby village, where they discover some of the plans and the outcomes of the invasion. And the maids take to armor, having to battle to constantly make sure the prince is protected and out of harm’s way.

The prince leads the group of a wayside fortress, where he hopes they can regroup and enlist reinforcements for a more remote area of the Arbansbool kingdom.

The encounter leaves the men questioning how the maids could be protectors, and the end result is another action sequence after the invading army shows up.

Although the plot, for the most part, is fun and engaging, there are some sticks in the road. For one, the first half of the book feels a bit contrived, and it’s hard to understand how the maids stay on despite the prince’s surly attitude.

Near the middle of the volume, there is a sequence in which a maid is trying to sneak into a cage holding a giant cat, but she can’t get in. So she takes her clothes off and is somehow able to squeeze in. This, too, seemed contrived, as though it was made up solely so one of the female characters could traipse around naked for a few pages.

And Cacao, the lead female character, just doesn’t feel as though she is important enough to lead the series.

Overall, the volume was quite lackluster. Some elements were good, but there was too much boring or overplayed elements for this volume to be worth it.

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