So, a happy thing popped up on my facebook dashboard this morning – turns out Harlequin Japan has bought the rights to one of my favorite YA faerie tales, “The Iron Fey” by Julie Kagawa. I’ve been bothering Julie forever about if the rights had been bought yet, etc, but this was a complete surprise. Harlequin Mira Japan is releasing the series under the title “The Fairy Princess (フェアリー・プリンセス)” with sub-titles (not subs) for each book. Example: “フェアリー・プリンセス 夢迷宮への片道切符 上 (Fairy Princess: One-Way Ticket to a Dream Labyrinth – Part 1”. “The Iron Daughter (Book 2)” is now “フェアリー・プリンセス 盗まれし季節の誓い 上 (Fairy Princess: The Stolen Oath of the Seasons – Part 1)”. Books 2 and 3 will be released in October.
(Important note: It’s a common practice in Japan that books that are ordinarily in one-book formats in other countries, they get split into two books for the Japanese translation. This also happens within the regular Japanese book industry – you see this a lot in paperback releases in general if the manuscript is long enough.)
Why is this awesome, you ask? Because basically, Kagawa’s story is being turned into Light Novel material. What is a Light Novel, you ask? Go here for the answer because it’s kind of long, but tl;dr, it’s for books that are usually around 200pgs and are targeted for the YA demographic. It’s pretty common to have a long story arc split into at least two books (parts 1 and 2), and it seems like that’s what Harlequin JP is doing here. Also, in traditional LN fashion, they’re inserting illustrated scenes.
For everyone interested at the official site there are translation samples from both books so far, as well as part of the first novella (branded as bonus spoiler material), as well as a contest for Japanese readers to get their art into the third book. Looking at the translations, they’re pretty solid (except Meghan has turned into Mee-gan, facepalm), and I’m pretty happy with the job that Harlequin JP has done so far. I plan on getting my hands on the first half of the first book sometime soon. Possibly with holiday money. I’ll have to order from Kinokuniya or something.
Book trailers are only starting to get popular in Japan for publishers, so I was surprised that “Iron Fey” got its own trailer, which you can watch here (it’s on Facebook, so..I couldn’t embed that here).
As a bonus, you get to see the relationship web of all of the characters on the website, and when you hover your mouse over each character, an explanation in Japanese about the character and how they relate to Meghan pops up. It’s pretty neat. But I LOVE these illustrations, don’t you?:
Ethan is just ADORABLE with his bunny. Can I kidnap hi- oh wait. The faeries already did that. Other than that, I think I love Mab’s character design the most. I might just buy all of these books just to see the illustrated scenes, guys. And if we’re lucky enough (and if the books are popular/sell enough), we MIGHT just get a manga and/or anime series out of this. Which would excite me to no end!
Which brings me to my final announcement of the day – I’ll start covering Light Novels in a new Friday segment called Friday Night Lights. At least once a month I’ll be choosing an LN series I really like and showcasing it here on the blog. I’ll give translation details, and details on whether it’s available in North America yet or not, etc. So I guess you could say this is FLN’s inaugural post?
Anyway, fans of “Iron Fey”, how do you feel about Harlequin JP’s decision to rename the series and each book? Do you like the character designs? Let’s talk about it in the comments!