The Apothecary Diaries [Vol 3] by: Natsu Hyuuga

After putting on a successful and sensual(?) show of food tasting at the garden banquet, Maomao is the talk of the palace! But she soon discovers that notoriety isn’t the only thing the party has granted her! Her collection of hairpins from the event brings the young herbalist a brief window of freedom beyond the palace walls, as she returns to the pleasure district for the first time in ten months! But while reunions with her father and her friends await, so too does another mystery…

After explaining to Jinshi the circumstances behind the poisoned cup at the garden party, Maomao returns home to the pleasure district for the first time in ten months, thanks to the ornate hairpin she received at the party. But there, she gets swept up in yet another mystery?!

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Photo by nastia from Pexels

Although this is a light and cute manga there is mention of Kidnapping, forced servitude/indentured servitude, poisoning, death, and attempted murder.


Once again I am left in awe of Maomao’s botanical knowledge and ability to think fast in any situation. We didn’t get many interactions with Jinshi in this book, as we have in the last two, but what little we got was entertaining and left some breadcrumbs I feel will be explained soon.

The only thing that makes me sad is the fact that I can only read books 4 and 5…as 6 doesn’t come out in America until September. Currently, in Japan, the series has ten books out and is listed as ongoing so I’m not sure just how long the series will end up being.

I look forward to reading more on Maomao and the inner circle, and workings, of the palace. Who knows what other adventures and mysteries Maomao will stumble into.


Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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