Book Review: Magus of the Library Vol 1 by Mitsu Izumi

Title: Magus of the Library Vol 1

Author: Mitsu Izumi

Series: Magus of the Library #1

Page Count: 240

Publish Date: July 9, 2019

Publisher: Kodansha Comics

Buy Magus of the Library #1 at Amazon.

Synopsis:

The Magic of the Written Word

In the small village of Amun lives a poor boy named Theo. Theo adores books, but because of his pointed ears and impoverished life, he isn’t allowed to use the village library. As he endures the prejudice and hatred of the village, he dreams of going where such things don’t exist: Aftzaak, City of Books. But one day, Theo chances to meet a Kafna–a librarian who works for the great library of Aftzaak–and his life changes forever…

Magus of the Library Vol 1

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My Review:

The book starts in a fairly unique way, introducing the world and its history with books before revealing the main character. Even his entrance into the story comes in a different way.

We quickly get to see how the main character, who is referred to as Long Ears, is treated in the village. However, this mistreatment does nothing to quell his love of books and his determination to read them.

It’s strange in a way that we learn his sister’s name well before his own. But, I suppose there is a reason behind that, showing that few people see him as a true person and thus not worthy of a name.

Despite all the setbacks, he does have quite an optimistic view of the world. Sure, there are times when he feels trapped by his situation and is hoping that a hero will come and save him.

Imagine his surprise when something akin to that does happen.

This is how we first meet the Kafna. They are more than librarians, they are keepers of special knowledge, caretakers of books, and journeyers to find lost tomes. Their arrival in Amun will have quite an impact on the small village and Long Ears’ life.

Caretaker Menes is quite a horrible character. He has already shown himself to care nothing for the people of the slums, Long Ears included, and only took on the role of librarian for the clout. In this world, books are a form of wealth and those who have many have a high status.

It is fortunate that his daughter, Sakiya, is the opposite of her father.

The Kafna take a central role in the story from now on. They are from Aftzaak, the city of books, and have come to ensure the library is in good shape and deal with an old grimoire that was discovered.

This group is a mix of personalities, but they are all book people through and through. Sedona is the most outgoing of them, while he takes his job seriously, he also sees some potential in Long Ears and spends quite a bit of time with the boy teaching hi about books and other subjects, while Long Ears provides valuable information about the town.

Seeing the Kafna in action, especially Nanako, while she schools the local libraries on the finer details of maintaining the books in the care was great. Then there is Pipiri. She’s quite unique among the group and really takes a shine to Long Ears, teaching him the history of books and more about Aftzaak.

There are some sections at this point that feel quite slow. It’s almost bogged down by the finer details of the world, the books, and the characters. It was easy for my attention to wander a bit but I stuck with it.

Things do pick up in the latter half, as the mystery of the grimoire leads to several unexpected events. There’s a decent chunk of actions in this part and it puts Long Ears and the Kafna in quite a situation that they must work together to resolve.

Only now do we finally learn Long Ear’s true name, which is Theo. This felt a bit overdue but it was nice to be able to put a proper name to a character that is key to the story.

Thanks to his interactions with the Kafna, especially Sedona, Theo now has a new direction for his life and this sets things up for the rest of the series.

The artwork was beautiful and though the story is fairly slow, I did enjoy reading it.

While this is not the strongest first volume I have read, it did capture my attention enough to add the second volume to my TBR. I believe this may be a series that starts slow but builds up to something truly special within a couple of volumes.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Magus of the Library #1. Have you read this book?

Buy Magus of the Library #1 at Amazon.

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