The Apothecary Diaries [Vol 4] by: Natsu Hyuuga

After breaking a curse on the imperial heirs, a palace servant with training in herbal medicine is promoted up the ranks to food taster…and right into the thick of palace intrigue in this lushly illustrated historical mystery series!

Though Maomao has left the palace behind and returned to her home in the pleasure district, it seems the Inner Court can’t do without her! Jinshi comes to the erstwhile food taster with a request involving the attempted poisoning of the Virtuous Consort during the garden banquet and the identity of the mastermind behind it!

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Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Content Warnings: mention of murder, execution, mutilation, human trafficking, loss of a child, death of children, and indentured servitude.


This, by far, was my favorite volume! Not only do we get to know more about Maomao but we get more interactions with Jinshin and we learn more history of, some of, the residence of the palace.

I was already interested in the series after reading the first few books but I have to say volume four has cemented my need to get my hands on the entire series. Apparently, this was a novel first, that has now been turned into a manga…I’m tempted to get my hands on the novels as well since I’ll be able to learn more of the story before the manga volumes release.

If you’re looking for a, mostly, lighthearted historically set manga that has a lot of mysteries to uncover I highly recommend picking this series up!


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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