In the Forest of Silence, where magic doesn't work, the girls meet a mysterious swordsman named Ferio, who seems to also want to become a Magic Knight. Fuu strikes a bargain with him that forces him to escort the ladies to the Spring of Eterna in order to obtain the legendary mineral, Escudo. The Spring is nothing like they all imagined, and the trial to obtain Escudo is more challenging than they were expecting. Ferio lets it slip that only those close to the princess know of the legend of the Magic Knights, but he fails to say how he came across this information before he disappears into the wild blue yonder.
Compared to other fantasy series and fetch-quest storylines, this story moves so fast. Within 400 pages, we've gotten acquainted with the world of Cefiro, and the girls are well on their way to becoming Magic Knights. I think the anime adaption allowed the storyline to breath just a bit more than the manga version. In the manga, every panel is packed full of important bits, including what characters are doing in the background. So much characterization of Umi, Fuu, and Hikaru happens as they are background characters to the main action. This also makes the illustrations super important. There isn't a spare or filler panel to be had, so each detail must be taken in as part of the storytelling. CLAMP has several similarly told storylines - quick and masterful.
Overall, this story is extremely enjoyable, but I do wish there was quite a bit more of it.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy, Magical Girl, Isekai
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