It's nearly Silver Eve, and the Atelier travels to Ezrest, the royal capital, to take part in the biggest festival of the year. Several of the girls have created a spell item that will be sold at the festival, but Agott has prepared a performance she intends to stage in front of the royal family. Custas catches up with Coco and Tartah again, but he's been corrupted by the Brimmed Hats and now knows the truth about magic. He's angry that Coco and Tartah didn't do more and didn't show him more when they were helping him gain more mobility. Luluci and Easthies, along with several other Knights Moralis, also attend Silver Eve to monitor the secret of magic. The two respond to an incident where one witch is selling contraptions that see through people's clothing, and it triggers Luluci's childhood trauma where she and her fellow apprentice were sexually assaulted by a person they were trying to help.
This series continues to blow me away with its depth and complexity. What started out as a beautiful magical adventure has really expanded into something nuanced and layered. This volume really delves into the question of magic being used for societal good, and we get some insight into how the witch society came to be the only spell casters in the world. I love that there are unintended consequences now coming up with Coco and Tartah trying to help Custas, and I think this is going to get tied in with Coco's mysterious connection to the Brimmed Hats. Shirahama is also doing more exploring of the world outside of the Atelier, and the scenes we get with the politics of the world only further the richness of this story.
There is a trigger warning before Chapter 49 where we are warned about sexual assault and victim blaming, and the reader is able to skip the chapter entirely without it affecting their understanding of the overall storyline. No abuse is seen on the page, but it is hinted and Luluci vaguely describes what happened to her and her fellow apprentice. I appreciated the warning, as this is the darkest chapter in the entire series so far, and could be jarring for some readers.
Sara’s Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3, vol 4, vol 5, vol 6, vol 7, vol 8
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781646512690 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy, Magical Girl, Kodansha
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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