Basara 20 by Yumi Tamura: A

From the back cover:
A curfew law has been passed by Kyoto to suppress the rebellion. Sarasa’s ally Ageha seeks to destroy King Ukon’s senior officials, while Asagi, the real Blue King, gains Sarasa’s trust and leads a daring assault. But while Sarasa and her forces are gaining ground, their enemies’ secret plan could turn the tide against them!

What an exciting volume! Tamura launches about five different subplots and manages all effectively. No story gets slighted, and I like that Tatara is kept abreast of happenings in the storylines for other characters. It also seems to be the beginning of the final arc, so all of the allies accumulated along the way reappear (albeit a little cheesily) and Sarasa resolves to maintain her Tatara guise to the fullest so that any indecision she feels about facing the Red King won’t imperil those whose lives she is responsible for.

I particularly enjoy the subplot for Asagi, who is caught between the sister who raised him (wanting him to lure Sarasa into a trap) and the boisterous camaraderie of Sarasa’s forces, which gives him something he has sorely lacked all his life. Interesting too is Shuri’s decision to become King Ukon’s successor and take command of the Royal Army. I’m sure he’s not gone evil, but it seems that he and Sarasa are each determined to pursue change in their own way and, to remain true to those following them, might end up trying to kill each other before this is over. Awesome stuff.

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