Kuro no Kishi: Black Knight 1 (v. 1)

Black Knight, Volume 01 - Kai Tsurugi I have to say that this was a different choice for me, but it was still pretty good. I don't usually read mangas with romance themes, but I have to say this was a light and entertaining read. It is a story of a young, very sheltered prince, who is sent off to a boarding military school (I guess so he grows a pair, so to speak. From early on we get the impression he is a bit soft). There, he falls in love with his mentor, a dashing swordsman of common background. These types of yaoi novels are usually written to appeal to girls. According to Thompson's Manga: The Complete Guide, which I consulted, this is kind almost like the appeal lesbians have for some men, but in this case, the story is really a romance with a gay element. It is the romance element where I see the appeal to the ladies would be found, and I can see, as a librarian, how this story can appeal to young girls. In a way, it is almost like any other romance. The story takes place in some 18th to 19th century European setting, and there is a good amount of political intrigue as someone is trying to kill the prince's father, and they are after the prince too. It falls to the swordsman to protect him. The intrigue part is what appealed to me, but the story does grow on you for its warmth. The Black Knight title is a reference to the rank Black Knight, the highest honor a knight can receive in the kingdom, to which our swordsman hero aspires. I do have to note that, while very light, there is some nudity and sex in the story, which is why the book has a warning label on it. However, compared to other much more graphic works, this one is fairly tame, so to speak. Overall, it is pretty good, and it is recommended for manga readers who like romance. Yaoi readers will definitely like this one if they want a blend of romance with some action, and they like the sex on the lighter side. It is entertaining enough that I will continue reading the series.