I remember the commotion when the Raven of the Inner Palace anime first came out.
Because of its premise, people seemed to believe that the anime must be an adaptation of the Chinese manhua or light novel.
You can guess what follows when such a perception is ingrained in their minds. They begin to believe that the anime must have such a meh story.
Well, I don’t blame them for thinking that way considering that seems to be the case for the anime adapted from the Chinese manhua and light novels.
But guess what? The anime turns out to be really good.
Even better? It’s a light novel by a Japanese author published under the Shueisha imprint, Shueisha Orange Bunko.
Will it get the same anime treatment if it’s the Chinese manhua or light novel?
To be honest, I doubt that.
Forget about getting an anime adaptation. This kind of story tends to get killed before inception in China due to their tendency to ban anything that they deem violent.
Thus, the meh story you end up getting in many Chinese manhua and light novels. They prefer not to ruffle the feather if it helps them with having a lifelong writing career.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure there are many amazing Chinese manhua and light novels out there.
It’s just that you’re looking at the wrong place if the mystery, thriller, and suspense genre is what you’re into.
You’ll never find any stories that fall into that genre no matter how hard you look around.
What Raven of the Inner Palace is all about
Here’s the book description that I got from Bookwalker.
Who is the Raven Consort?
Deep within the palace’s walls lives the secluded and mysterious Raven Consort. Some say she is an old woman, while others claim she is young and beautiful. What all stories agree upon is that she has the power to exorcise spirits, lay fatal curses, and find lost objects–for a price. When the young emperor arrives at the door of the Raven Consort seeking magical assistance, his request could shake up the palace…or perhaps even the entire kingdom.
What got me to read the light novel
As you can tell, I already watched the anime before. So, I already know what to expect prior to reading the light novel.
Even if I never watched the anime before, I would still pick this light novel because of how much I enjoy a story that revolves around mysteries related to supernatural occurrences.
If you’re wondering about the type of books that I tend to recommend on my blog, you can read more about my preference right here.
What makes Raven of the Inner Palace light novel worth reading
When you think of a story that revolves around concubines, you probably have this notion that the story must be mainly about the scuffles between them.
If any Chinese period drama is any indication, then it’s not hard to see why many of us will think that way.
Pretty much most of the Chinese dramas that revolve around concubines will give you an emotional roller coaster ride.
And let’s not forget that these concubines are at each other’s throats too as they will use any means to get affection from the emperor.
Thankfully, you don’t see such scuffles in this light novel.
Yes, the Raven Consort will still have to deal with matters pertaining to the inner palace. And it’s even more so when it has something to do with the concubines.
But it’s mainly trying to solve mysteries related to supernatural occurrences.
Things like a female ghost with silver hair haunting the inner palace, with many people spotted her under the willow tree south of the palace.
Not going to lie that it can feel a little spooky to some people based on that alone.
But fret not, it’s not spooky enough to creep you out.
If anything, I will say that the light novel feels more like a detective novel but with a supernatural twist.
What I didn’t expect when I read the light novel
As someone who already watched the anime before, I was expecting that the characters’ names in the light novel would be the same as the names I saw in the subtitle.
For those who don’t watch the anime, the spelling of the characters’ names follows the Chinese pronunciations.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case at all in the light novel.
Rather than seeing the name of the Raven Consort being written as Shouxue, you’ll see the name written as Juusetsu in the light novel version instead.
So, what gives?
Does it mean that the translator gets the name wrong in the light novel version?
Well, here’s the thing about the names in kanji – it can go both ways.
If you read the same kanji in Chinese, it will be Shouxue. And if you read the same kanji in Japanese, it will become Juusetsu.
I’m not sure why the subtitle will opt for the Chinese pronunciation rather than sticking to the Japanese pronunciation.
My guess is that since the story takes place in the fantasy setting of ancient China, then it’s best to opt for the Chinese pronunciation of the names instead.
It’s not that much of a big deal for me, to be frank.
But it can be a deal breaker to some since they were hoping the names in the light novel version would be the same as those in the anime.
Who should read the light novel?
If you’re someone who enjoys a story that takes place in ancient China and you enjoy mysteries that revolve around supernatural occurrences, then this light novel is for you.
Where to buy the Raven of the Inner Palace light novel
As always, you can buy the light novel in digital or in print on Amazon. Here’s the link if you’re interested in buying the light novel:
Just to let you know you can buy the digital version of the light novel on Bookwalker as well. That’s where I got mine in case you’re wondering.
You can buy the light novel on Bookwalker right here:
Prefer to read the light novel in Japanese instead? You can get the print version of the book right here on CDJapan:
Over to you
What do you think about the Raven of the Inner Palace light novel? Are you interested in giving the light novel a try after reading about it on my blog?
Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. If you’re in the mood to read a thriller light novel that takes place in the modern world of Japan, then you may enjoy reading my Trigger Locked series.
Interested in giving the light novel a try? You can take a look at the first book of the series on my Payhip store. Use the coupon code SEKINAMAYUBLOG to get 25% off on your purchase.