Cover Image: Nina the Starry Bride 1

Nina the Starry Bride 1

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How far does one go to keep a secret hidden? What if it’s a secret that must be kept in order to save a kingdom? And what if it requires playing a role that requires you to erase your past life from existence? In Rickachi’s Nina the Starry Bride, such a situation is at hand. How it’s presented is where some of the story’s biggest surprises can be found.

A rags-to-riches kind of tale, Nina the Starry Bride focuses on the titular character. Despite being born under a poor star, Nina is gifted with the eyes of a goddess, which makes her a target for slave traders. For most of her life, she is protected by her parents. But when a plague kills them (and a plethora of others), she starts pretending to be a boy and living with brothers Saji and Colin. They survive as best as they can, in a world that throws every form of bad luck possible at them.

When Colin becomes ill, Nina and Saji attempt to find a way to afford a doctor. Sadly, Saji makes a desperate move, and leads Nina to be captured by some suspicious men. That’s where Nina meets Azure, the second prince of Fortna. Azure reveals why she’s being held: his sister, priestess-princess Alisha, has died in a wild carriage accident, and they need a replacement. Alisha had the same deep-blue Lapis Lazuli eyes as Nina, making the orphan the perfect person for the task.

For the next three months, Nina must learn how to act like Alisha, and will then be married to the Crown Prince of Galgada. At first, the plan goes exactly as one would expect. Nina is stubborn, as well as quit too early into a lesson. But when she learns that the fate of Fortna rests in the plan going well, Nina sucks up the tough parts and takes the task at hand. What follows is the tale of the least-likely girl having a seat at a royal table.

The narrative of Nina the Starry Bride has enough uniqueness that makes it stand out from other similar stories. Nina may be rambunctious, but she has a sense of nobleness in her thanks to her upbringing. That feeling of wanting to help is strong in her, as it ties to both her youthful upbringing and how she lived each day with her two friends. But with Azure in the picture, Nina finds someone that she not only can confide in, but also go toe-to-toe with in witty banter and retorts.

It’s that element that makes this a manga an enjoyable read. Although it takes nearly the entire first chapter to reach that level of enjoyment, said level doesn’t tone down for the rest of it. Whether it a quarrel with a Queen or an adventure with a young prince, Nina’s days are filled with experiences that never dull her day. And with us as her readers, we have the pleasure of witnessing every wild hurdle that’s thrown in her direction.

One thing it does right is showcase how Nina has been a victim of circumstance her entire life. It’s not her fault she was poor; it’s just the way that society treated her parents and ancestors in the past. Azure knows this, especially when one incident has Nina running back to her old hideout. The sight she discovers is a cold one, and while the whereabouts of her old friends is still up in the air, the fact that they’re nowhere to be found isn’t a good sign. As such, Nina feels like her past life is all but gone.

Thankfully, Azure is in Nina’s corner. Sure, he can be shrewd with tasks and orders, but he’s in the same boat as our titular heroine. It’s in incidents with a nasty queen or a troublemaking prince where Nina sees a good side to Azure, and vice versa. These moments open the door for something more special to occur between Azure and Nina, even if such a thing could literally cost them their heads.

There’s a lot of great potential that can be found in Nina the Starry Bride. The situations on display may not be new, but the characters and their attitudes aid in making them feel fresh. Although the series opens with a grim look into the future, one hopes that Nina and Azure find some way to make this plan work in the right way possible. Until then, Nina the Starry Bride is one royal ticket that any shojo fan would gladly punch to see where this tale takes them.

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What a great beginning! The first volume of a new manga series always leave me wanting more and this one did not disappoint. Body doubles, second princes , impending marriages and etiquete lessons are all just in the first part! I am excited to see how Nina comes into her new life with people who seem to really have her best interest and maybe a little of their own at heart. But rather than being a demure kid , Nina is bold and not afraid of showing affection and kindness and that is always great to see. Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy!

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tl;dr
Beautiful artwork, and an intriguing setup for a series about palace drama.

Thoughts
First off - yes the art really is that good throughout. Delicate lines, nice tones, and gorgeous large panels are the order of the day, making this a very pleasing manga to look at. Which is good, because the story can get pretty dark in some places. It's got all the messy political stuff one would expect from a story where a child plucked from the streets suddenly has to pose as royalty. Nina is a great lead, refusing to be a doormat for someone else's politics, but also canny enough to play things smart. Azure is an interesting foil, someone else also trapped by the cards dealt to them, but he keeps his reasons close, and I'm curious to learn more about his motives and plans as the series continues. We have yet to meet the final piece of our lead trio in this volume, but the two leads so far are great to read, and I'm curious to know what happens next.

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I really enjoyed this manga!
It’s nothing crazy new but it’s enjoyable and reminded me of magical x miracle which has a similar famous person is replaced by an unknown. Only this time we know the person she is impersonating is firstly the same sex and secondly already dead.
Nina is sold by her friend (ew) to a prince in order to get her to replace his half sister. She is a priestess who is being married off to another country to secure a peace treaty between them so it’s pretty important. Understandably Nina is unimpressed at first but quickly realises she wants to help her fake half brother to keep her country safe and at least she won’t be living on the street starving like she was after her parents died.
The artwork is pretty, the story moves at a good pace even if it does have an annoying ‘evil’ step mother. The side characters are sweet, I especially liked her spoiled younger half brother who desperately looks up to the other prince who really should be crown prince but isn’t because reasons. He’s spoiled but also just wants to be as cool as his big brother.
The only thing I would criticise is the fact that the manga seems to allude to the country they’re from being kind of ‘middle eastern’ from the style of clothing etc. and includes some stereotypes about polygamous marriages and mistreatment of women. But this is also a common trope in fantasy.
I’ll definitely be picking up the next one!

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Nina the Starry Bride is an interesting manga and has a lot of cool elements to it. While it was a little slow and confusing to begin with (the reason for the 4.5 stars), it quickly picks up and becomes a fun read. The characters are interesting and I am sure will gain more depth in future volumes. I really enjoy how we are able to see how Nina adapts (or struggles to) to life in the palace with her new role.
I am very excited to see how the plot develops in future volumes and I recommend this manga to anyone who is looking for a quick but fun read.

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This was a good first volume. It provided enough intrigue to continue reading future volumes. The backstory could’ve been fleshed out a little more and the main character feels very two dimensional so far. I didn’t understand why when she had the choice to wish for anything her wish was to be praised (once). This could’ve had more impact if we knew more about her background.
Nevertheless I enjoyed the story and its many funny and cute moments and would definitely pick up the next volume in the future.

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This is volume 1 in the series.

Nina is an orphan girl with one-of-a-kind lapis lazuli eyes, which is why she is kidnapped by Prince Azure to play the role of a priestess/princess, Alisha. But she misses her old life and there seems to be something brewing between her and the Prince...

I really liked the cover and its one of the reasons i decided to read this book. The story was really good as well as the world-building. We learn more about the characters too. This volume felt so short, I wanted to find out more about what's going to happen next!

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This series has a lot of potential. A fantasy story with intrigue and a rags to riches swap usually has me interested. So far, the volume is mostly setup, but it's a good setup! The end of the volume showing that Nina as she had been has basically been erased, and has to go forward under her new identity, cuts to the point nicely. If you like these sorts of series, keep an eye on this one!

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

I will be the first to say, that the plot of the manga is one of the most basic and borderline cliches that I've read. I have read so many manwha, manga, or graphic novels with almost identical concepts. But something about this story has charm. Yes, it's something I've read a million times, but there's something about Nina that makes her fun to read. This volume largely is just set up for the series' overall plot line, but it shows a ton of promise. The characters are fun to read, and a hint of intrigue at the end of the novel makes me want to read more to find out what was hinted at. There was also a romantic couple that's been alluded too, but I'm unsure how to feel about it until I get more information from the story. I also ended up really liking the art style. It's leaning towards a simpler style, but there's something so cute about it!

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I started reading this manga without many expectations because it seemed to me that the story was quite cliché, and although it is, I ended up liking it a lot!!

The story presents us at the beginning that there is a dead princess and they decide to replace her. That's when our protagonist enters, who was orphaned, lives on the street in the worst conditions and one of her considered friends sells her.

And although everything seems to be going the way I think it is, I loved reading it and I want to read how it continues.

I loved the illustrations, and I feel that the mangaka has great talent.

I need the second one!

Thank you Kodansha Comics for the issue I read on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed this fantasy manga.

The artwork is great and humorous.

I look forwards to reading the next volume.

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Nina had a rough start to life, stealing to survive—and eventually being sold into slavery by her own brother. But to her surprise, her captor, Prince Azure, ordained that she would live the life of a princess...specifically, that of the recently deceased princess-priestess, Alisha

Really fun, with great characters, and excellent art.

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(4.5 Stars)
This 1st Vol establishes the series as a Political Fantasy & Romance.
The romance aspect of the story is sweet and well paced. The set up also seems like a love traingle going to be a major part of the plot.
But the political conflicts are simple as of now.

The main characters are interesting and lovable. The antagonists are the least interesting part in the story so far, especially for a political drama. So I hope we get some complex and layered antagonists further down the series.

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Absolutely gorgeous.

I think the only problem with a fantasy world manga is that while the world building is happening, there are more questions building that we have to wait for answers on! I'm so excited to see more of this in the future, the artwork is absolutely stunning.

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Rating: 4/5
(Gifted a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

Volume 1 of “Nina the Starry Bride” delivers a solid start and pleasantly surprised me. This series had been on my radar for a while and I’m happy to report that it secured me picking up the next volume.

The plot follows Nina, an orphan, who gets picked to body-swap with the (probably) recently deceased princess Alisha under the guidance of Prince Azure. Nina almost immediately finds herself entangled in all sorts of court intrigue, confusing characters, and identity crises as she tries to take control of, or at least joy in, her new life. It’s a fun time, reminding me of both Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts and Dawn of the Arcane. The more long spanning political plots are intertwined with shorter stories where Nina settles into her new life and meets the cast. There are a lot of plot threads introduced that could work out really well as the series develops.

I rated it a 4 rather than a 5 due to slightly confusing elements and some weakness in the writing. It took me a while to figure out exactly who Nina was replacing and what that person’s relationships were to everyone. I think a character overview at the beginning might have helped with that and was surprised this volume did not have one. While overall the story was strong and I am eager to keep reading, there were a few moments that stood out as just fine when so much had been great.

That all said, I really enjoyed this volume and look forward to reading more. I think fans of similar series as well as historical romance readers will love this.

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Nina, an orphan, is kidnapped due to her unique eye color in order to become the priestess who has been presumed dead. Now Alisha, she is being taught to be a princess by the second prince, Azure Seth Fortna. Together, they navigate the intricate web of deception, striving to convince the King and Queen of Fortna of her identity as the priestess princess.

“Nina the Starry Bride 1” by Rikachi was very good. I thought it was super sweet. I loved the artwork style. The promise of more adventures and charming story continues in more of the series and Rikachi’s other works. 5 out of 5 stars.

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This was a cute first volume. The romance is predictable, but I like Nina and her interactions with the characters. The young prince is cute (after being a brat) and it's sad that no one remembers the old Nina. I will continue reading this series.

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Though this book is compared to the likes of The Ancient Magus' Bride, The Apothecary Diaries, and Snow White With the Red Hair, it doesn't fill its predecessors shoes of notable protagonists with a rich world. Our main character, Nina, lacks motivation or depth, being dragged around from scene to scene in a vague setting. What I did find interesting was the inspiration from the Middle East for the clothing and architecture which sets it apart from other books in the shoujo demographic.

Thank you NetGalley and Kodansha Comics for sending this e-book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

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This was such a cute and quick read!

The artwork is beautiful and the characters are already rather lovable. The story is easy to follow and flows along nicely. It’s been awhile since I read manga, so this was such a nice treat to jump into. I’m thoroughly rooting for Azure and Nina, although I’m incredibly curious as to who her fiancé is.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for making it a Read Now ARC! I absolutely need book 2!

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Nina was taken into the palace to replace the dead princess because of a resemblance in the eyes. From living on the streets to becoming a fake royalty that will marry another, Nina's life changes unexpectedly. The captor of Prince Azure helps her adjust to the palace life but it does not mean Nina has accepted the situation.

I think Nina is a fun protagonist to keep reading for. and the prince is a little mysterious, so I am curious to learn in more depth about his character. She stands her ground even if it may not do much, but it shows she does not accept being wronged. It is also kind of predictable but it does not take away my enjoyment of the story. I love palace intrigue and romance.

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