In The Emperor’s Lady-in-Waiting Is Wanted as a Bride, main character Lyse Winslette works as a lady-in-waiting in the European fantasy kingdom of Olwen. But she remembers her past life as Qatora, a knight in the nearby Razanate Empire. There is something in the empire known as the Light of Origin, which is believed to be made by the gods. However, when she lost her life saving a young boy, the Light of Origin not only reincarnated her, but revealed its true secrets. As Lyse, she’s not willing to tell the reader all of the secrets she learned, but she understand that the Light can bring both goodness and terrible danger.
Years later, as her new reincarnation, she sees the imperial prince she used to take care of, only now he’s a grown man and the emperor. Unfortunately, he has a rather unique problem: he can only bark like a dog. His mana has been warped, which is what caused this. When Lyse learns this secret, the other people in the know-how want her to stay silent about it. How do they suppose to keep her quiet? By having her marry one of the imperial knights. You know, just like real life.
Lyse has more than one choice in imperial knight, and it is made clear she can break off the engagement down the line if she wants to. But if she’s going to have to get engaged, then her eyes are traveling more toward Sir Sidis. He’s handsome, he’s nice, he’s protective . . . and it’s strongly implied that the two of them were connected in her previous life.
The setup for the engagement is pretty out-there, but a manga with a barking emperor isn’t meant to be taken too seriously or literally, anyway. Lyse is a fun character, especially when she gets into her warrior self that’s still there from her past life. Sidis is mostly just charming and likeable, and the reincarnation scenario binds them so that even if they don’t know each other well right now, it’s implied they’re very close spiritually.
It’s hard to say from the first volume if the whole thing with the Light of Origin is just thrown in there for a reason for the reincarnation, or if it’s going to be a story with a lot of depth going into the past. In other words, is this going to be complex and have some romance in it, or will it be a romance that throws in some kingdom stuff? It could go either way. But so far the artwork is attractive, the characters are enjoyable and the story moves swiftly. The manga series is based on the original light novel series, which is also published by J-Novel Club.
Manga: Akari Chikusa
Original Work: Kanata Satsuki
Character Designs: Yoru Ichige
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.