From the back cover:
As war breaks out in Kyoto, Taro races to warn Sarasa about Project Pomegranate, a secret plan launched by Hagiwara. But a traitor has betrayed Taro to the Yaro-Gumi, Kyoto’s feared elite police force. With the truth of Project Pomegranate still a mystery, the forces of Sarasa and the Red King ride into battle against one another, not realizing that in doing so, they play into Hagiwara’s hands!
Wow. I have not been so surprised by anything I’ve read in a long time. I think my heart literally went “thud” in the last chapter of this volume.
Aside from delivering a truly extraordinary shock, the story also manages to touch upon each of the subplots launched a couple of volumes ago. Taro’s comes to a close, and there’s more of Asagi and his angst. The biggest deal, though, is that it’s finally revealed what Shuri’s been up to in taking over the royal army forces. This last isn’t completely unexpected, but is still cool. There’s much more than this, as well, including characters taking risks for their friends, moments of personal sacrifice, and scenes of affectionate camaraderie.
I also really enjoyed the art in this volume. There was a real sense of the breadth of the battlefield and the various skirmishes. Tamura also draws some of the cutest babies. I don’t even like babies, but manga babies always manage to amuse me, especially drooling Motomichi.