Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 17

[openbook booknumber=”142152161x”][rating:5/5]

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother’s bodies… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

A homunculus manages to breach impenetrable Fort Briggs, and the Elric brothers discover a terrible alchemical secret that pervades every corner of the world as they know it! Meanwhile, Major Kimblee and a ruthless General Raven make Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong an offer she can’t refuse…

Whose side is she on, really? And how far is she willing to go?

So many pieces of the puzzle fall into place with volume 17. We finally get some explanation on how the alchemy in Xing works and we even find out some history on how the alchemy in Amestris works. Several groups of people also finally figure out what Maes Hughes died for way back in volume 4. The time when all of the homunculis’ scheming finally comes to fruition is close and things are more dire than anyone could have thought.

I’m really liking some of the new characters. Miles, an Ishbalan solider serving in the Amestrian army, is so rough and tough in amongst all of the crap he has to put up with because of his race and the history the Amestrians have with his country. He’s not afraid to flash his red eyes at someone to shake them and their preconceptions up a bit. I also really liked the Major General Olivier Armstrong, she is tough as nails and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. I also really admire her commitment to her job guarding the border and to the troops defending it. The women in this series are all portrayed in an empowering way, whether they are generals in charge of a fort, mechanics and doctors helping put people back together, or even mothers and wives who are shown with a unique strength and empowering love and devotion all of their own. Don’t forget that it was for the love of their mother that Ed and Al started on this crazy adventure in the first place.

With the dastardly plans of the homunculi finally being revealed things are coming to a head for the characters in this book, but the enemy still has as many hands tied as possible and makes sure the heroes know it. It’s your move, Fullmetal.

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