For anyone who’s ever fantasized about visiting the ancient Library of Alexandria, the Magus of the Library will help to fill that void in your life. I can’t recommend this manga to anyone enough who’s a self-described bookworm, loves to read, isn’t ashamed that they might be crushed under their book collection like Sheska in Fullmetal Alchemist, or has dreams of the fantastical. This story has it all rolled into one, and it’s presented so eloquently.
First off, a lot of that eloquence is in Mitsu Izumi’s art. I’m really impressed with how easily the artwork depicts ways in which a reader can become fully immersed in a story. There are multiple instances where the main protagonist finds himself living out a book’s plotline in his head only to be unceremoniously yanked out of that world. Becoming engaged in a book’s world and then transitioning back to the real world all within a book itself is seamlessly handled, and the art only builds the suspense.
The aforementioned protagonist is a young boy whose half-human and half-elf heritage has caused him a lot of anguish in the human village where he’s grown up. His name is barely used in this first volume, he’s only known as Long-Ears. Previously, there’d been a war among the races, but that’s all “ended” though tensions remain high. Inevitably, Long-Ears can’t escape his circumstances physically, but he can ease his misery by diving into a good book. However, even with a local library branch in his village, obtaining them is still a challenge. Luckily, the Central Library of Aftzaak has dispatched a group of Kafna, or book specialists, who are in route to assess the possible existence of a grimoire and meeting them will change his life forever.
I love how the intrigue slowly builds throughout Magus of the Library as well as more fantastical reveals. Aside from the grimoire, one of the Kafna is a Kokopa (a fairy/pixie) while another, Sedona Bleu who’s human, can control the wind through spell seals. These elements build upon the mysteries and underlying political power the library in Aftzaak must wield, and once Long-Ears comes into contact with the Kafna, you just know he’s destined to join them! However, he first has some challenges of his own to overcome, and as Sedona explains before they part ways, “This is the beginning of a new epic!! A tale of adventure that you are about to spin!! Yours is the only hand that can turn the page.”
Meanwhile, I’m stuck waiting for the second volume to continue the journey—I’ve been yanked out of my happy place, and I want more! In the meantime, if you too are left in anguish, I’d recommend picking up Magi or 07-Ghost as both series have similar vibes and are full of their own intriguing characters and plots.
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…Add to CartLearn More