In Volume 3, Tia was ready to leave the capital and spend some time away from everyone. Now Tia is at her family’s holiday house as her doting father can’t tell her no. He realises that his sweet little girl is struggling, and he wants to help her as much as possible, although his role as captain of the second order of knights limits his free time.
Tia feels like she’s alone. She doesn’t want to marry the crown prince because she doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of her past life. She knows the real girl of the prophecy will show up later, so there’s no reason for her to suffer all over again. She’s going to pave the way to her own destiny, away from the crown prince. Thankfully, she has a couple of friends, Carsein and Allendis, who want to stay by her side and support her however they can.
But when the crown prince comes to see her at her holiday estate, she can’t help but fall prey to the memories of her previous life. It’s only with her father’s help and his decision to finally select the heir of his house that Tia is able to come back. Things have already changed from her past life, and she’ll continue to work to make sure the same mistakes don’t happen again.
What I loved the most about Volume 4 is the growth and the self-realisation that Tia experiences. She’s scared, no doubt. She values her life, her house and her people, but every time she sees the crown prince, she can’t help but fall back into the memories of her past self. Now she has finally realised how much things have changed already—her father loves her, Carsein has become her sparring partner and Allendis is her friend. Maybe…
The relationship with her father in her previous life was broken and her house was destroyed. Now it seems that Tia’s father is ready to lay waste to keep his daughter happy. Even when he finds out about Tia’s past, he helps her come to terms and figure out a plan of action. He wants Tia to smile and have an enjoyable life. He’ll find a way to deal with the arranged marriage wanted by the emperor and the crown prince.
Carsein too wants Tia to be happy. He started off liking her, then not, because of who she is, and now it seems that he’s finally figured out his real feelings. Too bad there is a fiancé and Allendis with their eyes on Tia. He’s starting to realise what he wants and how to get it. The crown prince however still cannot fathom why Tia doesn’t want to be crown princess. After all, once he becomes the emperor, she’ll be the empress. But a letter left unattended, might give him a clue as to what really happened with Tia and her past life. That’s if Allendis doesn’t get in the way.
I started the series quite liking Allendis. He seemed an alright guy with just a little bit of a twisted personality. I was imagining him to become an antihero and devote his life to Tia. However, it seems like my predictions were quite wrong. More than an antihero, Allendis seems to be turning into a proper villain with nefarious plans for Tia. He gives stalker vibes now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he kidnaps Tia to get his way. I feel like there are so many plot twists that could happen that I don’t know what to believe anymore.
The art in The Abandoned Empress is staying consistent throughout the volumes so far. The character illustrations are simplified and the backgrounds are mostly blurry to showcase the characters. The use of light and pastel colours gives this series a fairy-tale vibe.
The Abandoned Empress illustrated by Ina with the original story by Yuna is published in the English language by Yen Press with a translation by David Odell. Volume 5 is slated for release in June.
Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.