[MANHWA REVIEW] Emperor and the Female Knight

[MANHWA REVIEW] Emperor and the Female Knight

Synopsis:

Pauliana was the rightful successor to her family. However, her dad and stepmom thought otherwise. Their solution? They enlisted her in the army. They were positive she would die in the battlefield. Women warriors were unheard of. Women were seen as weak. They were expected to be meek and stay at home. Your basic patriarchy. As expected, Paul was met with hostility, pity and misogyny. On the bright side, somewhere along the way she also earned respect, friendship from different soldiers and merits in combat and war strategy.

Setting: Fantasy

Author: Eyeglasses Monkey

Artist: Team Iyak


Review:

UGH! I want to be her friend SO BAD. Except for her terrible hygiene, she’s so cool! I swear she’s manlier than the emperor. I love how she was so comfortable of herself and was unapologetic about it. Despite all the bad things that happened to her, she’s still a good person. The feminism and struggles of women in men’s world was on point in here.

I like how the concubines have a healthy competition. More often than not, concubines are at each other’s throat. They’re out scheming against one another, trying to assassinate each other’s son and are hell-bent on becoming an empress. This was a valid point of view.

However, I like that they actually didn’t want to be there. I see them as a currency to give power to their fathers. I see them as a human baby factory and it’s so primitive.

In general, when people are brought up to certain beliefs, they normalize it. They do not deviate from it. Unless they actively question it, contemplate it and decide whether or not this is acceptable. To actively question a belief, there has to be an awareness. This awareness came in form of Paul.

Somebody make this an anime!

Some men in this story are total dirtbags. Even in the real world, we never run out of them. However, some men underwent a character development.

Here are some:

  • Lucius -He took her advise in war strategy. They won several times. He was able to unite the empire. He wanted to pass the law where women can own a property and a title. Sure, a part of this was because he fell in love with Paul. However, he gave credit where it was due and he was professional towards her. This was what he would’ve done if a man had the same merits as she had. So proud of Paul.
  • Sir Lavi – He encouraged his daughters to speak their minds when their mom asked them to stop commenting on their brother’s swordsmanship skills. I really hope he’d let his daughters train, too. First of all, they’re more interested than their brother. Second of all, they don’t have to be soldiers but I like the idea that they are able to defend themselves if they are ever under attack.
  • Donau – He tolerated the badmouthing of Paul. Her effectiveness and approach as a leader. Sure, subordinates often have varying opinions about their superior’s performance at work. However, when they attacked Paul on a personal level (e.g. how she’d serve her future husband, that men don’t see her as a woman, etc.), he did beat up the guy. Forgot his name. He obviously saw her as a sibling and this was deeply upsetting to him. When he proposed to her, I believe it’s because he wanted to protect her. I don’t think their relationship had a hint of romance at all.
  • Subordinates from war – Initially, she was not welcomed. She was a foreigner and a woman. Although they criticized Paul for unfairly punishing them, they drew a line when it went personal. Not similar to Donau’s level but they still have respect for her as their superior.

Expectations:

Lucius

  • Get those women’s right in order
  • Confess to Paul – if the empress dies or something. There’s no need to torment Paul if this will not be possible. He better ditch that harem if he would pursue Paul.

Paul

  • I want her to form friendships outside her work. Her life revolved around it so much so that it became her identity.
  • I hope she contemplates and explores the world outside the palace. Not just to join a hunting group but to interact with the people.
  • Govern the fief she was offered. I want her inspire younger women to that they have an option to not be a stay-at-home wife if they don’t want to.
  • Experience love from a normal person – man or woman idgaf. She’s never experienced filial or romantic love. I want that poor baby to feel loved for who she is.

Recommendation:

If you’re looking for romance, look elsewhere. It’s been 92 chapters and there’s no progress in the romance department. You can still give it a try.

If you’re looking for badass characters with a hint of war, comedy, combat, a little politics, friendship and feminism, read up this one.

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