(Rezension wird bald ins Deutsche übersetzt.)
Bianca has reached marrying age and in Renaissance Italy this means your parents find you a suitable partner to marry and bear children with. For Bianca, this means the rich merchant Giovanni, whom she never met. All she'd want is to at least get to know the man she's gonna spend the rest of her life with, but that of course isn't a woman's right.
Her grandmother then tells her a secret, which might just be the opportunity Bianca was looking for. Who knew it's also what will change her life for the better, even if that path isn't as easy as it may seem.
That was honestly really good, and much better than I'd expected.
Characters & audience
The author portrays women realistically, both the way men see them and the way they are among each other.
For plot reasons, all women kind of had different opinions about their lifestyle.
Bianca, the protagonist, of course was a feminist fighter, but it still was realistic and according to the time period. It took a while until she started fighting actively and even then it wasn't as active as it would be for our modern times (in case you're afraid this might be just another feministic fairytale). And even at the end, her rights go as far as the time period and the men around her allow her to.
I think every man, especially the misogynistic ones, should read this. Not sure if they will get transformed into a normal person then, but it might open a few eyes or at least get a bit of insight.
If you're a woman, it will probably not be anything new, and not even a great novel that will end up being your most favorite. You've seen it all, or most, that Bianca has gone through herself, even in our times.
But still is worth the read. One of the reasons being, is that feminism isn't the only aspect discussed here.
The author doesn't portray men as the only "bad guys", though. He does also show how women corrupt each other and how female pride can be just as bad as men's.
All in all, this isn't just a comic about women's rights. It's also about lust and sexual desire, religion, society, attraction, freedom and friendship.
The ending is not only beautiful because Bianca is happy (as happy as you can be in times like these), but also because of her relationship to Giovanni.
I'm not gonna spoiler, but while the background characters mostly had their marriage being highlighted in a bad way and what the negative side of marriage is; our main couple shows that even with those negative sides, if you work together, set aside your labels and just see each other as two humans, that bond on paper doesn't have to be your cage. You don't have to follow societal norms, and that includes the reactions and expectant behaviors of what happens when your partner doesn't stick to the "rules".
The art style might appear as average or "amateurish" at first and maybe still like that once you're finished, and while it's true it's not detailed, it's far from being amateurish. Also, it fits. It's stylistic and looks like it comes out of a sketch book from an artist of that time period. Especially the bonus sketches at the end underline that even more.
I don't think a detailed style is necessary anyways; the story comes perfectly across, the emotions feel as intended and you can follow the plot without confusion.
Characters are diverse, both in appearance and in personality. With a stylized style, the artist also doesn't have to stick to the strict laws of anatomy and has more freedom to express his creativity, so that's a plus.
Colors are also used confidently.
What more do you want?
An easy style also lets you read it faster, because you (or I at least) don't feel guilty about not staring at it for as long as some other styles deserve. (You know that feeling, when a painting is so detailed that you feel like the only justification would be to put it into a museum, where people can stare at it for hours? Yeah, you don't have to worry about that here. Though it still is good enough to be stared at, and you could for sure put some pages into a museum, if you liked.)
Overall, very good, as said, and recommended to every gender as well as every age group. (The erotic scenes are less graphic than what primary schoolers learn in sex education, btw, so even children can read it.)