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The Devil's Trill


The Devil's Trill

written and illustrated by Sooyeon Won

THE DEVIL’S TRILL is the fourth volume of the Manhwa Novella Collection from NetComics and my favorite in the series. Each of these four books is a stand-alone collection of shorter manhwa works, and this volume gives us the angst-filled and baroque work of Sooyeon Won.

While past volumes in the Manhwa Novella Collection have been short stories, THE DEVIL’S TRILL features one long story (in fact, long enough to be its own manhwa) and one short tale afterward.

The longer of the two, and the title’s namesake, is a haunting story that references Tartini’s infamous violin sonata. It begins in the 18th century with a beautiful but lonesome vampire who misses his humanity. Don’t all vampires these days? A 13-year-old neighbor girl full of life catches his attention and he starts to warm up and become a better person. She goes away to school for a while and returns to him as a grown woman. Now he’s ready to take their relationship to the next level. However, she’s gotten married since then (and it’s implied the marriage was forced on some level). Her love is still for the vampire, not her husband. When the husband learns where his wife’s devotion really lies, he turns murderous.

Vampires live forever, but women do not. It may take her several reincarnations before the two of them can finally get it right. THE DEVIL’S TRILL spans over centuries as the two lovers are united and torn apart, only to try again.

The short story following this, called “The Magic Box,” is brief but also haunting. A man becomes so obsessed with working diamonds that he one day realizes he’s an old man and has wasted his life. A fairy appears and offers him youth again. But deals like these are meant to end badly….

When it comes to the artwork, this is a manhwa that definitely has charm. It’s beautiful. This is very stylized, aesthetic art that can really make everything look gorgeous. Sooyeon Won has a knack for drawing beauty. Having a graphic novel with appealing art as well as an appealing story is always a vital thing.

THE DEVIL’S TRILL is aimed for teenagers, and I think it would be a great addition to libraries for their YA section. It feels especially timely, what with all the interest in vampire novels lately. Still, while fads fizzle in and out, THE DEVIL’S TRILL has staying power. This is the type of book that ought to go off the shelves all the time.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on November 30, 2006

The Devil's Trill
written and illustrated by Sooyeon Won

  • Publication Date: November 30, 2006
  • Genres: Manhwa
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: NETCOMICS
  • ISBN-10: 1600091636
  • ISBN-13: 9781600091636