A Tale of an Unknown Country

A Tale of an Unknown Country Volume 1 by Natsuna Kawase

When I read books about princesses I’m always entertained by princesses who act extremely un-princesslike, so I enjoyed this breezy fairy tale about a princess who disguises herself as a maid to spy on a potential fiance. Rosemarie lives in the poor but bucolic kingdom of Ardela. Her life is spent selling bread in the courtyard of her castle to the tourists that are her country’s main source of income. Rosemarie’s brother announces that he’s arranged a marriage to a prince from a country that is the total opposite of Ardela. The mysterious prince Reynol is from Yurinela, a country that is so far advanced in technology that it has encased itself in a dome. There is no weather in Yurinela, and the people’s lives are arranged with scientific precision.

Rosemarie decides to disguise herself as a maid and goes to visit Reynol. Her meddling personality causes her to start rearranging his life. She decides that he should sleep more and eat proper meals instead of taking a nutritional supplement. As Rosemarie gets to know Reynol she sees that he actually has emotions, despite the influence of his overly mechanized environment. The pair quickly fall in love and decide to accept their engagement. Since the leads in A Tale of an Unknown Country get together quickly, the bulk of the stories in the volume deal with them working to get other people to accept their relationship despite the great differences between their two countries. A Tale of an Unknown Country was published before Kawase’s Lapis Lazuli Crown, so the art is a little more simplistic but still easy to follow. This is another nice all-ages series from CMX.