This is a very cute medieval adventure with mistaken identity. Darlis is a scullion at the castle, where he meets Mae, a new hire. The two bond over their love for the Fair Maiden’s handbook, a book of tips inspired by their favorite warrior, Riqa. But, there are so many dishes the weekend before Riqa’s wedding to Prince Chapp. Meanwhile, out in the forest, trolls plan to capitalize on all the travel to the royal wedding by luring unsuspecting people to a tourist-trap store and charging them to cross a bridge. Some hijinks with the laundry and a chase scene later, Darlis ends up in the forest and abducted by the trolls, believing they have found Riqa!
Illustrated by Dom Reardon and Matthew Dow Smith
Rebellious Teen Nissy (nickname for Nicnevin) has her life in London uprooted by her mother after being expelled from her school for drugs. Mom takes Nissy and her younger brother to a village in the North of England to detox from fast-paced city life. The family is supposed to be cleaning up grandma's house, left derelict for many years, but Nissy and her brother have other plans, always absconding and leaving mom to do all the heavy lifting. There, Nissy meets an interesting older man investigating the mysterious past of the village, including witches and druids. Nissy reads some of the family history from her grandma’s diary, and finds out there is more to them than she first thought.
After the fallout of Coco drying up an entire river, Qifrey discovers the ink pot she bought in town may be more than it seems. He takes them both back to the shop and questions the ink master, who realizes the ink in the bottle is the same on the dragon’s seal that he’s been examining for Qifrey. Coco and Tartah chat about different dyes and what effects they have on inks, when a mishap sends many bottles to the floor. He reveals he has silver blindness and memorized the bottles by their placement since he can’t see their colors. Later, coco works so hard and has many nightmares to the point where she gets sick from exhaustion and fever.
Adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings
Lauren is a teenager living in a walled-in community in the middle of a dystopian LA basin. Society has collapsed, and the outside world is full of scavengers, prostitutes, drug addicts, murderers, and violent criminals. Police could come and investigate, but it costs money. Lauren also “suffers” from hypersensitivity - she can feel the pain, or pleasure, of others. After a night of unrest forces Lauren from her home, she decides to travel north where water isn’t as expensive and there might be some work. She also plans on founding a community dedicated to Earthseed, her belief in a God as Change, amongst other ideologies. Along the road, Lauren picks up strangers who travel together for safety, but may one day believe in Earthseed.
Ailis and her cousin Na’ya are Weirns, a particular type of witch who has an Astral paired with them at birth. The girls attend school at night to learn all sorts of magical abilities, and can compete in Astral races with their partners. The girls often take a shortcut through the Silent Woods and past a house their grandmother has forbade them to go near. Of course, something bad happens with the scary house. This fun adventure comes complete with bullies and crushes, annoying little brothers, and lots of magic!
In this volume, we get the conclusion of the storyline in Rush Valley, and the boys finally make it to Dublith to their teacher’s home. This sparks a flashback that lasts the rest of the novel. The young Elric boys lose their mother and devote their lives to alchemy to bring her back. They find a teacher in Izumi Curtis, a housewife passing by who helps save the town from flooding. Curtis deposits the boys on an island for an entire month and tasks them to solve the riddle “one is all, all is one.” After their training, the boys return home and decide to conduct the human transmutation they’ve been waiting for. Meanwhile, Lt. Colonel Mustang travels to Resembool to recruit a 31 year old alchemist, only to find too late that he's after 11-year-old Ed. Mustang finds the evidence of their transmutation, but still offers to sponsor Ed’s entrance exam to become a state alchemist. We get our first glimpse of President Fuhrer King Bradley as he decides to attend the practical exam for the youngest alchemist in the military’s history.
It’s the final confrontation with Kum-Ji. Yona and Yun get some help from one of the captives, and they are able to set off the flare as the final stage of their plan. Kum-Ji tries to high tail it out of there, but Yona has other plans for him. Afterwards, the pirates celebrate with lots of alcohol until they all tucker themselves out. In the morning, Yona decides to go for a walk and runs into the last person she expects to be in Awa. The entire ordeal shows Jaeha that he does yearn to be part of Yona's team, so he finally agrees to go with them as they seek the last dragon warrior.
Illustrated by Boichi
Senku succeeds in making gunpowder. An experiment gone wrong sends smoke billowing in the air, signaling their location to Tsukasa. But off in the distance, other smoke columns rise. Who could be setting these? We also go back to the moment when Senku wakes, and we see just how many experiments he tried in the early days. This time is very different than after Taiju wakes up because most of the experiments Senku does with his friend are successful, but those he does alone are an exercise in patience that Senku doesn't always have. We also see Senku as a child, and that what sparked his voracious appetite for Science was his life-long dream of becoming an astronaut.
Vol 4, Keys to the Kingdom, illustrated by Gabríel Rodriguez
Thanks to this volume, now there are even MORE keys that do amazing things. There's the Animal Key, which lets you turn into your inner animal as you walk through the door. Bode's inner animal, as it turns out, is a small bird. In bird form, he helps save his siblings from an attack from another human-turned animal. Zack/Dodge is becoming increasingly more aggressive in trying to get the key to the Black Door, and Tyler becomes suspicious of his friend. Nina starts to get her act back together with Tyler’s help. The action of this volume is concluded with a shocking twist.
The four apprentices are stuck in a never-ending loop guarded by a hungry dragon. Only by coming together to create a new spell will they distract the dragon long enough to find the seal keeping them imprisoned. Then, we meet Olruggio, the Watchful Eye of the Atelier, who is insistent that Coco be handed over to the Knights of Moralis because of her history with the Brimmed Hats, but Qifrey convinces him to let Coco stay and to lead their own investigation. Later, a powerful rainstorm knocks out a bridge and sends a carriage into the roaring river, and Qifrey, Olruggio, and the apprentices are implored to help. But, it’ll be difficult for all of them to cast magic with all the villagers around!
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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