Are you ready for another rousing volume of adventure as the title character struggles to take back his homeland from those who have stolen it from him? Well, that’s not what happens here! Vol. 7 is the beginning of an extended diversion from the main plot as Arslan and company have to deal with an invading army from the country of Sindhura. Working in their favor is the fact that the prince leading the invasion, Rajendra, is something of a fool and thus easily susceptible to the plans of master tactician Narsus. As a result, our heroes are able to begin their own invasion into Sindhura against its other prince, Gadhevi, in order to secure the Parsian border in this time of conflict.
It’s actually kind of fun to see Arslan and his monstrously capable comrades figure out clever ways to thwart the Sindhuran forces thrown against them. Usually in stories like these we’re told about how capable our band of heroes are only to see the bad guys repeatedly get the upper hand on them. In the case of “Arslan,” the protagonists really do have all the smarts and it’s equal parts entertaining and amusing to see them exercise it against the almost comically incapable Sindhurans.
This is assuming you can get over the fact that Arslan and company’s triumphs don’t just feel predictable, but preordained by the plot. Even if there’s some cleverness displayed in each instance where the Parsians get the upper hand on the Sindhurans, it never really feels like our heroes are ever in any real danger. The fact that this whole arc is taking us away from the more interesting conflicts between politics and religion happening back in the Parsian capital of Ecbatana is also disappointing too. Essentially this volume makes it feel like the narrative has wandered straight into filler arc territory. I’ve certainly read worse versions of these things, but this is still a filler arc nonetheless.