Ao Jyumonji – Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash 12: That was the Beginning of a Legend Revolving Around a Certain Island and Dragon

Title: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash 12: That was the Beginning of a Legend Revolving Around a Certain Island and Dragon
Author: Ao Jyumonji
Series: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Book 12 of 18+)
Year: 2018
Goodreads page: Link

DISCLAIMER! This is the review of the 12th book of the series, so it could contain spoiler of the previous ones even in the synopsis. Read at your discretion.

SYNOPSIS
While attempting to return to Alterna, Haruhiro and the party push through mountainous enemy territory towards the sea.
Following one adventure after another, they reach the seashore at last, and they find a single ship landed there.
When they go to investigate, a girl with a fake mustache, of all things, appears!
“I am Momohina! Name yourselves!”
Led on by their meeting with the mysterious pirate (?) Momohina, the party heads for the Emerald Archipelago, where dragons have long been said to reside. What the group finds when they arrive is a pirate’s haven, thrown into chaos by a dragon attack?!
The tale of adventure born from the ashes moves its stage to the sea, and a new tale is woven.
(from Goodreads)

Finally the trip toward Alterna resumes… but not without any inconvenience!

After many volumes with a quite grime atmosphere due to the various themes encountered, this was a much needed break. Pirates! I totally was expecting some type of marine adventure as our protagonists seemed to have to cross the sea to reach Alterna, but I totally wasn’t expecting something like this.

Even more surprising when what in the beginning I thought would be some kind of pirate-ish filler ends up becoming an integral part of the main plot. I really appreciated this.

I really liked how this adventure is a mixture of investigation and challenges. It was a nice change of pace and turned out to be really entertaining.

Socially speaking, I really appreciated the detail of the Runaruka race. I found it a really modern concept and quite innovative for a fantasy world. I won’t spoil you the story but let me tell you that I really appreciated that his volume is full of nice messages on race, sexuality and gender.

The finale also is really surprising! I totally wasn’t expecting this turn of events!

If you still didn’t understand it, I really loved this twelfth novel of the series! It brought back what I loved about Grimgar after a few volumes that ended up being a bit sloppy.

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