Goong: The Royal Palace 2 by Park SoHee: A-

From the back cover:
With the wedding ceremony complete, Chae-Kyung and Prince Shin are finally newlyweds… but now they have to spend their first night together! And, as she tries to get accustomed to life as a princess, homesick Chae-Kyung finds no comfort in her haughty husband who seems determined to antagonize her at every turn. Will the crown prince’s attitude ever change? Is the dream of marital bliss doomed to be a nightmarish marital blunder?!

As much as I enjoyed volume one, this volume is even better.

It begins by outlining the procedures of a traditional Korean wedding, including a nifty scene where Shin and Chae-Kyung are being conveyed across town via palanquins through a very modern downtown area. Cool as this is, it’s what happens next that’s truly worthy of praise. There are a few chapters that consist almost solely of conversations between Shin and Chae-Kyung and they are absolutely fascinating. They’re both very complex characters with their own way of looking at things, and even though Shin does seem to do more than his share of the antagonizing, Chae-Kyung is also pretty prickly at times. Still, even though there’s a lot of bickering going on, it’s never frustrating to read.

There’s also not as much comedy this time, which I appreciated, since the art during those segments is so unappealing. Still, the comedy in this series is pretty amusing, as it grows from the story rather than interrupts dramatic moments. A great example is the scene where Shin and Chae-Kyung, about to spend the afternoon smiling for the public as they ride along a parade route, practice mouth-stretching exercises beforehand. It’s basically a two-page spread of them contorting their faces in amusing ways and is very cute.

Lastly, I am enjoying the further development of the other prince, Yul. His late father was older brother to Shin’s father, and so was the original Crown Prince. In fact, when the old king and Chae-Kyung’s grandmother promised that their grandchildren would marry, it was actually Yul that the old king had in mind. When Yul’s dad died, however, the line of succession shifted to Shin’s dad and ultimately to Shin himself. Yul’s nicer, if more melancholy, than Shin and since volume one has remarked more than once on Chae-Kyung’s cuteness. There’s a nice scene between Yul and Chae-Kyung in this volume and one can’t help but think how much happier they both would be if the marriage had taken place as originally conceived. There’s a great part at the end when Yul watches the happy couple drive off after school, in which he says, “You’re in my seat.”

Also, the end of this volume—involving Chae-Kyung’s growing physical attraction to Shin—leaves one very eager to read the next. Luckily, I have it on hand.

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  1. Yes! I loved this series so much! I had a little less sympathy for Shin than you did, it seems, because I kept waiting for him to lash out or for the other shoe to drop whenever he was nice in this volume. Skimming through your volume 3 review, it seems like he may work himself into a situation where he’ll never be in my good graces, which is probably all right.

    And I kept wondering what the deal with Yul was, too. That scene with the car was pretty awesome.

  2. Yeah, I guess I must be believing the bad boy stereotype being due to deep angst and pain that only the heroine can cure. 🙂

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