Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 218

The Ancient Magus' Bride

by Kore Yamazaki
Genre notes: faery fantasy
8+ vols
ISBN: 1626921873 (Amazon)

The Ancient Magus' Bride is a funny mix of your typical fantasy story about a young but preternaturally gifted apprentice coming into her gifts built on the foundation of some bizarre and skeevy stuff - which actually makes the story interesting instead of just one more example of a long-mined-out trope.

Chise Hatori has been able to see beings from the fey world all her life. After abandonment by her father and the suicide of her mother, young Chise was left at the mercy of her relatives who passed her around and abused her. In her later teens, Chise sells herself into slavery to a mage (exactly how bad her life had to be to get her to that point, we don't yet know save for that damn it must've been bad). Elias, a half-fey (he has a deer skull for a head), half-human (or something) mage purchases her at auction and while he can do whatever he wants with her, he gives her a home and a routine and tells her she matters and begins training her to be a mage. It's not all sunshine and roses of course and Elias has ulterior motives and even shares some of those with Chise, but this begins her adventure into a new life that will change her and change Elias and change the world around them, hopefully for the better.

Oh, and there's the strange fact that everyone in the fey world (including Elias) keeps referring to Chise as Elias' bride. We don't yet know if their use is the same as our use of the term, but it's definitely an odd point and discovering what exactly this means is a large part of what's lurking in Chise's ongoing story. Everytime Chise corrects the fairy people that no she's not his bride but only his apprentice, they always shrug and say "whatever, same thing!" I've only read the first 5 vols so far (7 are currently available and the series is ongoing), but it's an engaging book and the art is crisp and, generally, fun. In a lot of ways, it feels like a much more shounen version of The Girl From The Other Side.

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