Arslan Senki


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After an unexpected and devastating loss at the Battle of Atropatene, the Crown Prince of Pars must gain new strength and make new allies to retake his lost kingdom. The 14-year-old Arslan has been sheltered for most of his life, but now must face the challenges of warfare, betrayal, politics and something even more sinister looming on the horizon.

With the help of a few loyal followers, Arslan quickly learns that nothing is ever as it seems on the surface. His own family history, the identity of the masked stranger trying to kill him, and the cause of increasingly strange supernatural events are all mysteries to be solved.

Set in a fictional representation of ancient Persia, this classic story (from Japanese author Dr. Yoshiki Tanaka) combines political intrigue, military tactics, and fantasy.

Associated Names
One entry per line
The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Сказание об Арислане
Related Series
A Tale of Strategies For the Throne (1)
Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (1)
Kingdom’s Bloodline (1)
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Latest Release

Date Group Release
06/08/22 Rukhnabad Translations v5c1 part3
05/05/22 Rukhnabad Translations v5c1 part2
04/27/22 Rukhnabad Translations v5c1 part1
03/22/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c5 part5
03/09/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c5 part4
03/01/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c5 part3
02/22/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c5 part2
02/15/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c5 part1
02/10/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c4 part6
02/01/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c4 part5
01/25/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c4 part4
01/11/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c4 part3
01/04/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c4 part2
01/04/22 Rukhnabad Translations v4c4 part1
12/21/21 Rukhnabad Translations v4c3 part5
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3 Reviews sorted by

Andrez-ssi rated it
April 23, 2016
Status: --
Review of the first volume:

Despite having two anime and manga adaptations, I feel like Arslan Senki is closer to classic high fantasy novels than your run-of-the-mill light novel.

Arslan Senki is set in a parallel world loosely based in pre-Islamic Persia so it falls into the realm of historical fantasy. Actually, the author himself states that he was heavily influenced both by classic novels and epics and historical events. It tells the story of Arslan, crown prince of Pars, a country that was taken over by the neighbouring Lusitania after his... more>> father was betrayed by one of his retainers, and his quest to recover his country and the throne. For that, he has the help of Dariun, a warrior among warriors, Narses, a most brilliant tactician, Farangis, a priestess with both beauty and martial skill, and Giv, a wandering musician with both wit and strength. I honestly think this is a very classic RPG-like group with cliche characters but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt. Although Arslan’s subordinates suffer from a case of Mary Sue syndrome (though this doesn’t mean they’re not interesting in their own right), Arslan himself is a very interesting character. He is just an insecure fourteen-year-old mild-mannered boy who is forced to assume command of excellent subordinates, which forces him to ask himself Am I fit to rule? And come to the conclusion that he is still very inexperienced and undeserving of his very capable companions, thus deciding to become a good monarch. Even though there is not much growth in this volume, I look forward to seeing Arslan changing before my very eyes, both as a ruler and as a person.

I’m also particularly fond of Narses and Giv. Giv because he has a deep-rooted animosity and disrespect for royalty and power-abusing figures, and doesn’t hesitate in making it known (even though his words are often coated in honey) and is a self-serving man who is, in his own words “short on loyalty”, which makes his relationship with Arslan an interesting one, especially as the young liege proves again and again to be nothing like the royals he so despises. Narses because he’s brilliant to the point of considering things we now take for granted but that in the setting the story takes place in are completely innovative, which leads me to an underlying theme in Arslan Senki: social revolution. In a world with a strict caste system and enforced s*avery, Narses has the foresight to criticize those practices and the corruption ingrained in the court of Pars, and in a way that makes you chuckle at his gall.

The plot is your classic quest to retrieve the throne so it is, at least to me, automatically interesting. There are also a few great plot twists that have enough foreshadowing behind them not to take the reader by complete surprise.

One last thing I wish to add, the translation by T.E. Waters is absolutely excellent, with stunning prose and fluid dialogue, and there are plenty of notes on the characters, setting, and translation, making it clear he or she did their research splendidly. <<less
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Niggatron rated it
July 31, 2016
Status: v2
First of all, you should understand that this is an actual novel, not a light novel. As such, it wouldn't lose out to the more mainstream western fantasy novels around. Plot, characterization, and worldbuilding are all great. Try it.
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rukhnabad rated it
October 14, 2021
Status: --
After 35 years, Arslan Senki somehow manages to remain niche and underappreciated. Since its first publication in 1986, there have been two manga adaptations (one by one of the most well-known manga artists ever) , two anime adaptations, two video games, a stage play... and still nobody’s ever heard of it. As a diehard fan myself, I’d recommend it to anyone who likes historical fantasy stories in general. If you’re a fan of Yoshiki Tanaka’s other work, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, don’t be expecting anything too similar.

Based (very loosely)... more>> on the Persian epic poem The Shahnameh, this is your typical knights-and-kingdoms story, but made unique by the influence of ancient Persian mythology. It follows a young prince as he grows from the experiences of a complex and tragic war, undying loyalty and unexpected betrayals, and the creeping presence of evil magic at work.

Serving as a template for most early fantasy RPGs, almost every character is lovable (even most of the villains), and there’s a good amount of lighthearted humor. If you like historical military strategy, found families, or snakes, this is the story for you. <<less
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