Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Review: Spice and Wolf volume 5

So it appears that before I did have a good reason to worry that Yen Press had only licensed the first six (novel) volumes of Spice and Wolf since that was the case, however recently they announced they had licensed I believe the next three which actually makes me less worried. Sure the whole, 17 volume series isn't licensed but licensing through volume 9 shows that there is a market for them (or at least, the series is selling at or above what they predicted) and that they will license more if there is demand for them. So I guess my job now is to keep reviewing the books and convincing everyone else that they're worth buying huh?

Spice and Wolf (volume five) by Isuna Hasekura, illustrated by Jyuu Ayakura

Summary: Covering the same material as the second arc of the second tv season, Holo and Lawrence have arrived in the town of Lenos where they have heard a town chronicler might have more records of where Holo’s elusive home of Yoitsu lies. A fellow merchant introduces them to him but they want some help in return, help with a risky endeavor involving the town’s fur trade that might end up being more than they can chew.

The Good: The books continue to excel in creating secondary characters that don’t feel like repeats of an earlier side character and are rather fleshed out for characters who (probably) won’t ever appear in the series again. This is a bit easier to accomplish in a story that spends a lot of time with the characters sitting around and talking but when you think about it it’s impressive just how many characters Hasekura has been able to create without repeating traits (and there are still 12 more books to go!). There was also some very good foreshadowing this time around and once again felt like a solid installment.

The Bad: So far the stories have been rather good at explaining the economics and politics that make up the various situations and I’ve been able to follow along (and having already seen many of the stories in anime form has helped) but this one did confuse me quite a bit. This didn’t make me like the story less per-say but when everything was said and done I wasn’t quite sure what had happened and I do hope the economics in the next book are easier to follow.

Despite my trouble with the economic parts I still thought this was a good installment, although I must confess I'm more excited for the next book since then we'll be dealing with completely new material again. Funny enough by now I really want to watch the anime series again, it's been a few years since I've seen it, I've now read all the source material, and Funimation has some rather good prices for both seasons now, hmmmm.


  1. This is a fantastic series, and one of the few that I know that manages to portray realistic human interactions between people who are not after each other's throats.
    (Maybe I shouldn't be recommending stuff to you since you have so much on your plate already, but on the subject of economics, have you read Maoyuu Maou Yuusha?
    Please don't be put off by the name, it's an amazing manga. At least try the first chapter! )

    1. Hmm, haven't heard of that series before but sure I'll give it a shot! I don't mind when people suggest stuff even when I'm busy, I can always write it down/bookmark it to come back to later if need be. ^^

    2. Oh and, if you can see this, I have no idea how blogger notifications work, apparently that show just got an anime adaption, great timing!