In the desert of post-apocalyptic Japan, 15-year-old Sarasa's twin brother, Tatara, was the "boy of destiny" expected to become a great leader. But when their village is destroyed by Red King (one of the four sons of Japan's ruler), Tatara is killed, and to keep her people's hope alive, Sarasa masquerades as him and leads her remaining people to safety. In this volume, while seeking allies against the Red King, Sarasa-as-Tatara is captured by a band of pirates, whom she draws to her cause. But the army and navy of the Red King's ally Shido are closing in on them, and Sarasa must carry out a desperate plan to save them. Sarasa's conflict with the Red King is complicated by their having already met, though each is unaware of the other's true identity, and having developed a powerful mutual attraction. Tamura's art features the same androgynous look of much shojo work, but the traditional flowery expressionistic effects and silly bits of business are kept to a bare minimum in favor of a much more realistic style. This compelling, epic 27-volume adventure series, full of intrigue and complex characters, is highly recommended, especially for older teen and adult fans of CrossGen's Meridian. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.