Land of Silver Rain Volume 1 by Mira Lee
I’m trying to make a point of sampling more manhwa. Land of Silver Rain is about a human child raised in the land of the Dokebis – traditional spirits from Korean folktales. Misty-Rain was found by a witch in a cabbage patch when she was an infant. The ruler of the Dokebis, The Great King of Darkness decides to hide her human identity with a spell and she grows up among the Dokebis not imagining she is human. Universal appeal is a tricky thing for works aimed at younger readers to pull off. In the case of Land of Misty Rain the storyline quickly becomes tedious due to most of it focusing on Misty-Rain’s squabbling interactions with her Dokebi classmates. Thornpricker is a Dokebi girl who is the Jan Brady to Misty-Rain’s Marsha, as Thornpricker is jealous of all the attention that Misty-Rain receives and is suspicious that Misty-Rain might not be a Dokebi after all. Too many scenes of pre-teen bickering made this book a bit of a slog to read, despite the overly feminine art, where the girls are pretty and the men are even prettier.
Misty-Rain tries to be a good Dokebi, but she is often getting into trouble and having to endure punishments like being hung upside down by a rope for a couple days. The witch who serves as her adopted mother is concerned about Misty-Rain, and the Great King of Darkness’ interest in her is mysterious. There were a few flashes of humor in the book that I enjoyed. Misty-Rain’s Dokebi lessons at school about the proper ways for demons to behave are amusing. There was a hilarious panel where the witch tries to disguise her newly acquired infant by disguising her as a cabbage, and I enjoyed the depiction of the tearful Misty-Rain in cabbage form. If moments like this had been more plentiful in Land of Silver Rain, I think I’d be interested in reading the next volume. As it is, there was too much pointless pre-teen angst in this story for me. I can definitely see this series appealing to younger readers who enjoy stories with a fairy-tale atmosphere and lavish illustrations, but it has limited appeal for older readers.