Illustrated by Gabrielle Kari
William Shakespeare and his faithful page are leading double lives - while not writing plays or trying get his actors to put on the best plays, William is a crime-fighting masked vigilante known as The Bard, assisted by his helpful Page. The two confront evil-doers such as the crime-boss Falstaff, and the menacing Puck who is working for the vengeful Oberon. During their adventures, The Bard and Page get marooned on an island with a hungry wild beast who teaches Page magic and tricks The Bard into embracing it. They also find themselves in Verona in the middle of a civil war between two powerful houses.
We open on a castle under siege, and Lady Talli receiving the final words from her father, Lord Borin, before he sends her and her noble knight, Alan, off on into the wilderness on a speedy horse. Cunning archers see the fleeing pair, and one lands an arrow in the horse’s haunches while other soldiers on horseback pursue. Lady Talli and Alan manage to evade capture in the next town over with the help of a bumbling old man and his grandson. The two agree to take Lady Talli to the port in exchange for lots of money. Lelo, the grandson, and Pavel, the old man, have some secrets of their own - Lelo is a highly skilled fighter with unnatural speed, and Pavel used to be a famous adventurer and treasure seeker. The four are helped along the way by true believers who recognize Talli for who she really is: a descendent from the Moon Goddess, and the last Summoner.
Ayumi has a troubled home life - her dad left long ago and her mom neglects her in favor of alcohol. When she receives a letter from her dad about meeting one night, she jumps at the chance to find out why he left. Instead, she finds herself transported to a magical fantasy world with dragons and astral sorcerers known as Saigami. She immediately meets Sean, a noble-born from the Zenosa Clan of dragon-rearers who is also a Saigami. Along with Sean’s friend Reyji, the three travel to Zaosz, the capital and seat of The Saigami Order, hoping to find some answers about how she came into this world. Along the way, Ayumi discovers she has the power of a Flame Saigami, which means she now has to prove herself to The Order in a matter of a few weeks, or risk being destroyed.
Vol 1: Disciples of Avan 1, illustrated by Koji Inada
Dai is the lone human inhabitant of Dermline Island, which has become a haven for monsters after the events of the original Dragon Quest series (which is summarized succinctly for any reader who may have missed out). Dai has befriended many of the monsters, who are mostly well-behaved wild creatures now. A few quests of adventurers find the island and try to make names for themselves or cash in on fortunes in monster bounties, but Dai thwarts them at every turn. Everything changes when a dark power reawakens and bends the creatures back into the murderous monsters they once were. A powerful hero saves Dai and the island, but even his substantial power may be no match for a reawakened Dark Lord.
Growing up, Sano received private instruction from powerful sorcerers and was trained to become the world's savior, the Trinity. Against their better judgment, Sano's guardians have decided to let him complete his training with other magic users, all who knows of the Trinity and want to test Sano's skills. If his classmates and teachers weren't enough, evil forces that have threatened their world for centuries have also begun to infiltrate the Academy in hopes of disrupting the society and derailing the savior. While not in detention or constantly having to prove himself, Sano must also escape attempts on his life and navigate a tricky political landscape, and keep his grades up to stay at the Academy.
The Oates move to Newfoundland to be closer to their family and to help console a branch who just lost a loved one. Not long after, a creature of darkness lurking in the woods kidnaps the youngest daughter, Beth. While the adults scour the forest for the child, the other Oates children, Ben and Lynn, decide to take matters into their own hands. Armed with a flashlight, they venture into the forest and are transported to The Elphyne, a world in between Earth and the next, where fae and other magical creatures live, and where the magic and imagination of children can shape the entire world. The two must overcome their own fears and use the magic to their advantage to save their sister and rid the word of The Corruption that is destroying entire populations of magical creatures.
Illustrated by Robin Robinson
While Isabel's upbringing among the elite of San Francisco in wake of the Great Fire may have some considering her fortunate, neither of her parents particularly know how to interact with her, and she is often told to be "seen, not heard." While visiting her sculptor father in Carmel for the summer, Isabel mysteriously traverses the veil between the fairy realm and the human realm, and she immediately gets pulled into a life-or-death quest that will determine the outcome of a brutal war between the two halves of fairydom: seelie and unseelie. She quickly makes a few friends who also want to see her quest fulfilled, and she'll have to rely on them and her strange magical abilities to deliver a stolen necklace to the princess of the seelie.
Vol 2: Split the Party, illustrated by Stephanie Hans
From the previous volume, the party gets stuck in the middle of a war zone, and the only way to escape it is for Angela to make yet another sacrifice. Once out, the party splits. Isabelle feels responsible for the people of Glass Town and wants to find a place for them to live, while the rest of the party is still insistent that getting home should be their number one priority. Chuck decides to go with Isabelle, but the rest of the party is off to Angria to confront their past, specifically some of the consequences of their actions from the last time they were in Die, with the hope that something will come of this to get them home. Ash is reunited with Zamorna, a vampire Lord and the father of her son in Die, and Ash decides the only way to leave Die is to save it all, not just Glass Town.
Vol 1: Jewel of the Gravesend, illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon
Zatanna Starr, the daughter of renowned Coney Island illusionist Ezra Starr, is not a fan of crowds and performing. She’s much rather hang out with her friends or boyfriend and ride Coney Island’s coasters, grab cotton candy, walk her pet rabbit, or laze around at the beach. Her whole life changes when they visit a traveling band and find Mirror Script, a backwards script trick magicians used to use to hide their spells and tricks. Everyone else seems to have difficulty reading it, but Zatanna is able to read it just fine. What's more, whatever she reads comes true, and she can't figure out how this illusion is working! Diving deeper into this mysterious world unlocks other secrets about her family and her past that she must confront in order to truly understand what she's capable of.
Nicola is a human girl and a struggling witch, saved by the demon Simon, who now finds herself traveling incognito in the Demon World, where humans aren't allowed. The two of them make a bit of an odd couple as they travel around. Simon peddles trinkets and some possibly fraudulent pieces in his attempt to make a living in what can sometimes be a hostile world. He tells Nicola about the stereotypes in the demon world and she successfully finds beings who buck his stereotype, which encourages Simon to be less judgmental. While searching for rare mushrooms, Nicola finds a little clough demon and tries to keep him as a pet, but the call to rejoin his kind is stronger than their little bond. In a Demon Hotel, seeing ghosts is thought of as good luck, but that doesn't mean Nicola isn't scared of them.
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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