Series: The Ancient Magus' Bride #1
Published: May 12th 2015 by Seven Seas
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Chise Hatori had a troubled childhood. She grew up orphaned, being passed from person to person, unloved and unwanted. She felt even further alienated from those around her because unlike most people, she can see the spirits and magical creatures that exist all around us, invisible.
When The Ancient Magus’ Bride begins, Chise is a teenager and is being sold as a slave on an auction block. She is purchased by Elias Ainsworth, an inhuman mage with a skull face. Elias brings Chise home, where he tells her that he wants to one day marry her, and that he is going to train her as an apprentice. In a world where magic is dying, Chise is one of the few people who can see or use magic, and Elias wants her to learn how to use her gifts. And for the first time, Chise finds a place where she feels like she is truly home. Of course, home is now a place filled with fairies, magic, and mayhem.
And let’s talk fairies. The fairies in this series are wonderful. They’re exactly the right blend of beautiful, mischievous, and tricksy. They aren’t evil per se, but they have their own agendas and won’t hesitate to convince people to act against their own best interest to serve their own needs. The folklore aspects of this book are just incredible, and I can’t wait to see what other creatures Chise and Elias encounter as they continue their adventures.
Elias entertains me, because he tries so hard to human and to think of people’s feelings, but bumbles around a bit as he does so. He’s very dignified and matter-of-fact. He should seem scary or creepy, but for some reason, he doesn’t come off that way.
Chise is also complex. At the beginning of the book, she’s obviously really depressed. She doesn’t care if she lives or dies, and has no hope for the rest of her life. As she meets Elias, it’s as if she regains a lifeline to the world.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a surreal and philosophical manga that’s deeply rooted in folkloric traditions. Also, there are cats. Lots and lots of cats. 😀