[[caption-width-right:350:[[TookALevelInBadass Meet Princess Yona before. Now meet Princess Yona after]].]]

Yona is the sole princess of the kingdom, living the luxurious and carefree life as a princess should. She has it all: the finest clothes and cosmetics, the most divine sweets, a loving emperor as a father, and the hottest cousin crush, Soo-won, anyone could ever hope to have. Now, if only her bodyguard, Son Hak, wasn't so annoying to her and her hair wasn't so red.

But her nearly perfect world quickly shatters as the man she loves, Soo-won, murders her father and the path to his ascension to the throne is assured. Son Hak escapes with Yona, and they lead a life on the run from that point on.

The manga is written by Mizuho Kusanagi whose previous works include ''NGLife'' and ''Mugen Spiral''.

!! ''Akatsuki no Yona'' contains examples of:
* ActualPacifist: [[WrongGenreSavvy Emperor Il]]
* AntagonistInMourning: He may have killed her father and attempted to kill her as well, but Soo-Won is visibly shocked when an equally distraught Tae-Jun informs him of Yona and Hak's [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat supposed deaths]].
* BadAss: Pretty much everyone, especially the dragons, Yona and Hak.
* BadassNormal: Though traveling with a bunch of dragon-humans, Hak is one of ,''if not'', the strongest in the group.
* BlingOfWar: Justified and played with. When Soo Won "plays" war with Lee Gun Tae, he makes sure that they are wearing custom made jewelry. [[spoiler: Turns out he was advertising gemstones from the local quarry to stimulate the economy]].
* BodyguardCrush: Oh Hak... Kija too.
* BrokenBird: Yona but [[spoiler: not for long]]
* CainAndAbel: If Soo-won is to be believed, then Il killed his older brother Yu-Hon.
** And you could count Soo-won as the Cain to Yona's Abel... Though Yona had ''[[KissingCousins more]]'' than sisterly affection towards him, at first.
* CastFullOfPrettyBoys: Few men are ever drawn to be ugly. At best, they are non-descriptive.
* CharacterDevelopment: The whole story is this. Especially [[TookALevelInBadass Yona]]
* ChildhoodFriends: Yona, Hak and Soo-Won.
* TheChosenOne: Yona. Legends said that one day a red-haired royal would bring together the four dragons once more.
* CoolOldLady: Captain Gi-Gan, the leader of a RagtagBandOfMisfits of pirates.
* {{Determinator}}: Crawl along an impossibly high cliff where one false move means certain death? Tremble and cry in fear while trying not to be flung to said certain death by high speed winds? Okay. But Yona ''will'' [[SecretTestOfCharacter get those herbs]], even if she has to [[CrowningMomentofAwesome do it a second time.]]
* FallenPrincess: Yona all the way.
* FireForgedFriends: Hak and Kija
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: That naive princess that shows up on the second page? The first page has her future self acting {{badass}} as usual.
* HappilyAdopted: Several characters, Hak is one of them.
* TheHighQueen: What Yona is shaping up to be.
* ImportantHaircut: [[spoiler:When Yona and an injured Hak are surrounded, Yona is captured by the son of the Fire Tribe's general as he held her by the hair. After seeing Hak fall off the cliff into a raging river below. Realizing she was too weak to do anything, she cuts her hair, freeing herself from her enemy, the last link to her old life, and taking the first step to the Badass she will one day become by jumping off the cliff to save Hak.]]
* KissingCousins: Yona has been in love with Soo-won for a long time.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: According to Soo-won his father,Yu-hon, was murdered by emperor Il like this.
* ManBitesMan: [[spoiler:Yona has taken a habit of doing this when things get rough and she is low on options.]]
* TheMedic: Yoon.
* MissingMom: Yona's mother was killed by a rebel when she was a child.
* NobleFugitive: Yona and Hak (until he renounces his status as general anyways).
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: A seriously wounded and poisoned Hak falls over the edge of a cliff with Yona, which prompts the enemy to declare them dead since there's [[TemptingFate no way they could survive the fall]]. They're both up and about a few chapters later, only a little worse for wear.
* ObliviousToLove: Yona is this or SelectiveObliviousness.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Soo Won]] much to Lee Gun-Tae's chagrin.
* OneManArmy: Hak, Kija, Shin-Ah, Jae-Ha.
* TheQuietOne: Shin-Ah.
* RaisedByGrandparents: In Hak's case he was raised by an adoptive grandfather.
* RedHeadedHeroine: Yona. It's even a plot point because her hair color is so rare and matches the hero of legend.
* SarcasticDevotee: Hak
* SuperToughness:
** [[spoiler: The yellow dragon]] is [[spoiler: ''supposed'' to be]] this.
** [[CharlesAtlasSuperPower Hak]] to a lesser degree
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Hak again.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Yona went from meek sheltered princess to a woman who would practice her archery throughout the night, firing hundreds of arrows to become stronger.
** Yoon went from a self-described selfish boy to being a capable fighter and planner.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Justified. The four dragons (with the strangest hair colors like white, blue, green, and yellow) [[spoiler:and Yona]]all have hair the same color as the dragons they represent. [[ImplausibleHairColor People like Soo Won and Yun]] on the other hand...
* YouKilledMyFather: Soo-won kills Emperor Il as revenge for killing his father.