Dawn of the Arcana continues to be an entertaining fantasy series in a subtle and well-executed way. This volume has our adventurers in the desert kingdom of Lithuanel. Nakaba is caught up with a struggle between the princes Akhil and Azhal. They encounter a new type of ajin in the form of a group of terroristically inclined snake-people. Caesar has to prepare to return to his own country, and he attempts to push Nakaba away in an attempt to protect her from getting hurt. Nakaba has grown into a much more confident woman, and she’s not afraid to invoke her power when she needs to in order to help her friends.
One of the things I’m always wanting from this series is more Loki. Nakaba’s devoted dog-like ajin protector has always seemed to have hidden depths and motivations and Nakaba’s power shows her a series of visions that demonstrate just how far Loki is willing to go to to protect her. Nakaba gains a new appreciation for how much information he shielded her from when she was younger and more innocent. Eight volumes in, and I’m still appreciating the clarity of Toma’s art. The paneling had really developed well to showcase both action sequences and the inner feelings of the characters. Seeing a younger Nakaba in flashbacks makes the reader appreciate the bond between her and Loki, and appreciate how far she’s come since she became Caesar’s princess.