Why Raeliana Ended up at the Duke’s Mansion is a korean webtoon with art by Whale and original story by Milcha. It follows the struggles of a young woman who’s been reborn into the world of a novel as an unfortunate side-character fated to die. Using her wits and knowledge of the original novel, she’s determined to carve out a better destiny for herself.
I’ve genuinely thrilled to see more webtoons getting physical releases in North America. Now I can appreciate the lovely, full color at to the fullest!
When Euhna Park meets an untimely demise at the hands of a stranger – just as she was accepted into college and her life was about to start, no less – she finds herself reincarnated as Raeliana McMillain, a minor character in a novel series.
Raeliana’s family is nouveau riche, meaning she can expect to live an affluent life with her loving new family. There’s just one problem, in the original novel series, Raeliana is murdered by her fiancé, a tragedy that serves as the catalyst for the novel’s main plot when the protagonist returns home to investigate the crime.
If Raeliana wants to avoid dying young in this life, she’ll need to come up with a plan to ditch her treacherous fiancé before he can execute his plan to poison her. However, since the match was arranged by their respective families, calling off the engagement is no simple manner.
That’s when Raeliana hits on the perfect plan! If she pretends to become romantically entangled with another man, and said man is of sufficiently higher rank, her fiancé will be forced to back off and the engagement will be dissolved. Raeliana even has someone in mind for her fake husband-to-be – Duke Noah Wynknight, the main love interest of the original novel!
The most enjoyable element of Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion for me is Raeliana herself. Our heroine if gusty, clever and cool-headed. She doesn’t panic over her fast approaching fated doom and instead gets to work on planning her escape.
Raeliana makes the ballsy move of approaching the powerful Duke Wynknight and uses her knowledge from the book to blackmail convince Noah to team up with her. She refuses to be intimidated and proves a tough negotiator when the two are hashing out the contract for their fake-engagement. It’s a lot of fun to follow the adventures of such a capable protagonist and I became a fan of Raeliana right away.
In addition to being cunning, Raeliana is also a nice person. She’s sweet to her adorable younger sister, Rosemary, and stands up for her bodyguard when he’s discriminated against due to his race. The one black mark on her character is Raeliana’s initial response to meeting her queer-coded stylist, Nick Maddox.
The fact that Raeliana would find someone as fabulous as Nick off-putting is entirely her loss. At least she realizes her mistake when she sees that Nick really knows his stuff and the two become fast friends after that. Hopefully that will be the last instance of homophobia we see from her and we’ll instead see a lot more of Nick in the future.
Noah Wynknight proves to be an enigmatic love interest for Raeliana. As a member of the royal family, he’s embroiled in a lot of political intrigue and seems to be constantly scheming. Someone like Raeliana, who knows a lot of secrets that she shouldn’t, immediately draws his interest and he agrees to help her with her unwanted fiancé mostly out of curiosity. In exchange, he asks Raeliana to behave as his perfect, devoted betrothed at society functions. There’s a fun, push-and-pull to their dynamic, as both Raeliana and Noah try to get what they want out of their pretend relationship. They don’t exactly trust each other, but they do seem to enjoy teasing each other. This leads to some prime comedy, as they make petty little jabs at each other and generally get on each other’s nerves.
Noah seems to delight in seeing Raeliana flustered, but she’s more than capable of keeping him on his toes, making for an exciting, if tumultuous, dynamic. The road to romance for these too should be entertaining, if nothing else.
With beautiful full-color art, a strong-willed heroine, a scheming male lead and heaps of intrigue and political drama, Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion has plenty to recommend it. Isekai fans should enjoy seeing how Raeliana uses her smarts and tenacity to rescue herself, while fans of period dramas should love the costumes and romantic drama. This is one isekai manhwa that I highly recommended
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
For more information on this manhwa, visit Yen Press’s website.
What did you think of this manhwa? Let me know in the comments.
Be sure to check out some of my other isekai manga reviews:
- The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess To Savior Vol 1 Review
- The Savior’s Book Café Story in Another World Vol 1 Review
- I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss (manga) Vol 1 Review
- I’m in Love with the Villainess (manga) Vol 1 Review
- I Was Reincarnated as the Villainess of an Otome Game but the Boys Love Me Anyway! Vol 1 Review
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