Review by: Dancingonrain.
Mayura has cursed Kyo. If he hears the word “love” from anyone but her, he will die. She makes sure only she and Alice know. The only way Mayura’s curse can be removed is if she decides to release him from it herself or if Kyo faces his hatred of his abusive father. The sexual tension grows between Alice and Kyo when she rejects and then avoids him in order to keep him safe. She doubts she will be able to stop herself from confessing her true feelings to him if they’re together. But that doesn’t stop him. He’s come to terms with his feelings and knows he loves Alice, which is leagues in character development from the first volume when he kept everyone at a distance. He still doesn’t trust easily, but he’s improving. Although, Mayura certainly isn’t helping. Desperate, when she realizes that despite cursing him he hasn’t changed his feelings for Alice as if they’re some sort of light switch, she is consumed by jealousy and then succumbs to the mara (darkness) even more. She unleashes her strongest attack yet.
Alice and Kyo, not Lotus Neo-Masters yet, retreat with Frey (Frei) to the home of a young fellow Lotus Neo-Master, Chris, in order to complete their training and learn all twenty-four lotus words. They’ll have an edge against Mayura and their forces if they can remember the lost words.
This volume did well to show just how ugly the combination of jealousy and greed is and how it can drive anyone over the edge. Likewise, a common theme throughout this series is love hurts (now literally). Mayura is so consumed by hatred, jealousy, and greed that she’s trying to murder her sister just so she can have a guy who clearly isn’t into her like she is, but he certainly doesn’t hate her. He, like Alice, only want to help Mayura return to normal, but she is blind to that because all she sees in front of her is betrayal.
I don’t like Mayura, but at the same time, I feel bad for her because her anger and hatred does make sense and would be a realistic reaction even without the mara. That’s what good writing does. Produces a character you dislike, but you can’t help but feel sorry for too. Despite that, my personal feelings about Mayura’s grudge are: just get over it already!
Alice’s selflessness and guilt are strong in this book. Most people would be mad at Mayura, but Alice is well aware that her sister was only consumed by mara and is in the state she is now because she had told her to disappear in the first volume. And Alice, though unintentional, continues to hurt her sister by being with Kyo. She is fully aware that Mayura is angry with her and Kyo for going behind her back. They know they are both guilty, but Mayura refuses to believe their apologies.
What I like about this situation is that Alice isn’t some innocent victim of circumstances. In a sense, it is her fault that her sister is doing this to her now. Alice even says: I did this to myself. I think that adds to her motivation. She’s not only doing this for Mayura, she’s doing this so she can right her wrong too. I feel that there are layers and depth to these characters on many levels that much of the typical popular modern day television shows lack and maybe that’s why I’m so invested in this series now. Not even ashamed.
We’ve known that Mayura is lost to the darkness and may not be acting completely of her free will, but despite that, we also see how manipulative she is, even if she’s under the influence. She knows her parents have always favored her over Alice and now Mayura has even begun to turn her parents against Alice through lies and deception. What makes it harder is she still goes to school and lives her daily life as if nothing happened when she went missing. She acts as if she’s normal in the public, but as soon as Alice or Kyo are alone or it’s the three of them together. She lashes out.
It makes me wonder if she was manipulative before the mara (darkness) consumed her. She just does it so well.
I also find it interesting that if Mayura hadn’t launched another attack against Kyo and Alice, those two probably would have spent most of the volume lying in their beds alone, depressed and beating themselves up about their past mistakes. It’s ironic that Mayura wants to keep them apart so much that she’s trying to destroy them (mostly Alice) in any way she can, but what she’s actually doing is bringing them closer together.