Light and Shadow

A webtoon by Hee Won, based on a novel by Ryu Hyang. The webtoon has 103 chapters and is considered complete.

The world is centred around two characters, Edna and Eli. Edna is a strong and independent woman who seeks to right all things that are wrong. She has a resilient personality and was able to rebuild herself after suffering through much of her life. She suffered years of abuse, sexual assaults, and was even forced to marry Eli. She was able to stay strong despite all of that. She is the daughter of an awful king, and she was raised as a male. However, even though she was raised as a male, she still needed to learn to exist as a woman.

In contrast, Eli was born a commoner. He was awarded the Dutchy of Weswald and the nickname “Butcher” after serving in an important battle. His fearsome reputation is enough to intimidate the people around him. He is initially bitter towards the world around him, though he begins to feel a kinship with his new bride who is not as he expected.

Both characters begin to heal in some way as the story progresses. Eli begins to learn what it feels like to have a family and begins to fight for Edna. Edna manages to find the inner strength to push beyond the pain of her past to protect the people of her present. While their initial relationship is transactional in nature, they begin to trust each other as time goes on and they develop feelings of actual affection.

I love the way the characters banter with each other in this story, and how they can irritate each other and get on each others’ nerves. I like how they have a complicated relationship, as they practically begin as enemies, they learn to tolerate each other enough to survive. The way the story is told captivated me; I do not often see online manhwa depict medieval worlds with strong female characters. I really enjoyed the world the author created.

You can find this at Tappytoon.

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Emma, by Jane Austen

My memory of the 1996 version of Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, was of a sweet girl that romanticized the era of the book. This could just be me remembering the movie that was viewed with a less mature mind. I found that I was in for a treat when I began to watch the 2020 movie. It was as though I was watching a completely different character. She was bratty, spoiled, and extremely manipulative. Since watching the more recent movie, it has encouraged me to begin listening to the audio book.

The Audible original drama was released on September 4, 2018, and narrated by Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, Aisling Loftus, Joseph Millson, and Morgana Robinson.

If you are unfamiliar with the works of Jane Austin, I have found that they are wonderfully paced and the characters vivid. She writes beautiful pieces that allow us glimpses into the culture of that era. She painted satire about the culture she was surrounded with amid the romantic adventures of the communities she created. She depicts the expectations of young women in the gentry of the 19th century, and often showed us their interactions within it and how they were often ridiculous.

By now, you must be thinking “Get to the point! What is this about?” Emma is a lady of high society who enjoys playing matchmaker to everyone around her, usually without consideration to the station or circumstances around the people she manipulates. I intend to explore Emma’s world in this blog. Austin created wonderful characters that ensnare you in their lives. You feel attached to them in such a way that you cannot help but to cheer them on, or cry for their pain. I love the relationships between the characters, such as the friendship between Emma and Harriet. Relationships such as their allow the characters to grow and expand their worldview, such as realising that what is best for her friend is not necessarily what she had originally envisioned for her.
Oh! I cannot forget about Mr. Knightley. He is such a charming fellow in the book! The movies do not do him justice. The chemistry between him and Emma is exquisite. There is also her father. An odd duck (not really a duck) for whom Emma constantly worries, and one of the primary reasons Emma refuses to consider marriage.

Well, thank you for joining me for my book review on Emma. Have you seen any of the movies, did you like it? Please leave your thoughts below.

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Thanks, Jenna.