Arslan and a trusted general, Daryun, have found the hide out of the former royal strategist-turned-hermit, Narsus, and they try to get Narsus to join up with Arslan even though the king grew to despise Narsus. According to Daryun, there is no better war strategist, and Narsus does live up to his reputation several times while they are in his home. While Arslan is trying to remount a force to protect the capital city of Ecbatana, the Lusitanian forces descend on the city and try all manner of dirty tricks to get the sturdy walls to fall. They try torturing prisoners of war in front of the other soldiers to demoralize them; they appeal to the slaves inside to revolt against the solders; and they send assassins through secret water passageways to try to kill or capture the queen, who is the lone royal family member left in the capital to help keep everything together.
Illustrated by Liver Jam & POPO (Friendly Land)
Mathias is “cursed” with the lowest crest, fourth of four, and he’s learned as much as he can within his limitations. He’s decided that if he reincarnates himself, he might get the strongest crest, or he’ll keep reincarnating until he gets it. As luck would have it, he’s successful on the first try! He has no idea how many hundreds of years into the future he’s gone, but he’s reincarnated into a young boy’s body, and everything is very different. His crest is thought of as the worst, while his “brother,” who has Mathias’ old crest, is considered the best. Combat skills have also declined, so Mathias, with all his knowledge of magic and fighting from his previous life, defies all expectations as a strong magic-wielder and swordsman.
Edited by Laurie Halse Anderson
This collection of stories is modeled after some other versions that celebrated Wonder Women in the real world. Anderson and DC Comics have brought together women creators to pay homage to powerful women who are inspirational. Some of the tributes include Beyonce, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Serena Williams, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and so many more. Several of these stories are shedding light on amazing women who may not have been in the spotlight in their time. There are engineers and scientists who are heading programs to encourage girls to get into the science fields; there are disabled activists who fought for the rights that eventually became protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act; and, there are LBGTQ+ activists who fought for marriage rights and the right to exist on the streets of New York.
Tenma continues his search for Johan, and he hopes he can get through to him or kill him before he can kill anyone else. He crosses paths with a conman, Hekkel, who wants to market Tenma’s medical skills to the underworld — to people who can’t go to a doctor or the hospital. The first patient Tenma is tricked into helping is a terrorist who attacked political leaders just that morning. While investigating Johan’s childhood, Tenma saves a little boy, Dieter, from his abusive guardian, and Dieter refuses to stay in any of the safe places Tenma tries to leave him. Anna, Johan’s twin, and Tenma both close in on Johan’s trail at the same mansion, but threats from Neo-Nazis against a neighborhood of Turks entangle Anna, Dieter, Tenma, and Hekkel in the rescue efforts.
Leto tries, unsuccessfully, to warn the nobility of Ix of the coming revolt - the nobles can’t fathom that the race they’ve bred especially for working would organize themselves to rise up. But, with the promise of artificial spice, the emperor turns a blind eye and bogs down requests for help in governmental bureaucracy. Leto takes the two noble Ixian children back to Caladan as their noble parents flee in hopes of escaping bounty hunters who might come after them. Now, it’s Leto’s turn to show off his planet and all the wonderful things they can do. The young Duncan Idaho has meanwhile made it to Caladan, and he begins his service to House Atreides tending to the Duke’s stables. Paulus, Leto’s duke father, prepares a Celebration to welcome the two children, complete with bull fighting.
Thorkell and his warriors stuff their faces at a local inn and bemoan the winter that has put a stop to their glorious fighting. Then, they get word that Askelaad is holed up in a village north of them, and Thorkell rallies his men for a fast march to catch up. Askelaad puts Thorfinn on duty guarding prince Canute, which is how Thorfinn discovers Canute can cook. The Ear hears Thorkell's troops approaching, but it’s a little too late. They've only managed to build three sleds, which isn’t enough to take all their loot and people across the difficult snow-covered terrain. Askelaad decides to set his plans in motion, including robbing Canute of his most faithful servant. Some of Askelaad's men start to defect, hoping Thorkell will have better luck, but Thorkell has no place in his ranks for turncoats. Then, Askelaad's men start to fight against Askelaad, but his exceptional strength and fighting abilities keep him alive until Thorkell finally catches up. Despite his assignment to watch the prince, Thorfinn crashes back into the throngs of warriors, demanding the right to kill Askelaad himself. Thorkell challenges him to a duel for the honor of killing Askelaad, and reveals he knows much about Thors as he parries Thorfinn's attacks.
Silver Eve is coming, and the Atelier has been asked to help out. With his grandfather still in the hospital, Tartah, Coco’s friend and masterless apprentice, needs help running their booth in a prime location for the festival. Tartah and Coco also spend a significant amount of energy trying to make the world easier to navigate for their friend Custas, who has lost the use of his legs. They create an ingenious flying cape for him. As they muse philosophically about magic not going more directly to the people who could benefit from it most, bandits attack Custas and his master in hopes of getting his cape. Help comes from a witch, but probably not through methods The Order would teach or condone.
Grace’s entire village is plagued by a fast-spreading infection of Dark-bark, an evilness that grows from dark magic of the worst kind. Infected people (and animals) slowly grow bark over their skin, sprout little trees, and eventually, can’t resist the urge to recede into the forest and follow the candles of the evil witch. In another town, Ava and Idris struggle to survive as they are kicked out of town after town for being spell-casters. While trying to find shelter for the night in the forest, Idris and Ava discover the dark bark infection, and Idris becomes infected. They race to find the source of the magic so they can reverse everything. Grace, meanwhile, is tired of waiting and watching everyone in her village leave as infected folk. They barely keep her mother from venturing into the forest, and that’s when she becomes completely fed up. She decides to take matters into her own hands and confront the witch in the forest, or possibly even find a spell that can stop all of this for good.
Itadori and his classmates continue to battle a special grade demon. As soon as the two are clear of the building, Itadori unleashes Sukuna to defeat the demon. But, Sukuna doesn't want to go back to sleep. He rips out Itadori's heart, and tells Fushiguro that he can survive in Itadori's body without a heart. If Sukuna changes back or Itadori wrests control from him, he'll die. Once the crew figures out that mess, headmaster Satoru Gogo decides to personally tutor Itadori because he will continue to be targeted by other demons because of Satoru's power. An upstart demon decides to interrupt their training, and Gogo decides to use his battle with the demon to explain to Itadori how jujutsu powers work. Gogo enjoys himself immensely as he shows off just how powerful he is.
Nasa goes back to his old job to help out for the day, and it turns into an all nighter. Tsukasa tries not to feel lonely, but not texts or calls all day leave her missing her husband. She can’t sleep that night, so she’s awake at 4am when he gets home. The loneliness has gotten to her, and she asks for cuddles and kisses, which is more than she’s ever asked for before. Nasa happily obliges! Later, a movie that totally isn’t Endgame is coming out, and Tsukasa is dying to see it opening day in the theater so she can avoid spoilers. She and Nasa also prepare by watching a few movies before, and Nasa appreciated how into the story Tsukasa gets. Nasa and Tsukasa, separately, receive a whole list of what kisses mean when they’re given to a partner on different parts of the body, like the neck, forehead, arm, even the belly *blush*. Later, the two can finally go on a honeymoon, thanks to some raffle tickets to a Hot Springs, but that means they’ll actually be alone … together … on a trip …
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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