Book Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 3

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It is a good thing to be caught up with things before they get out of hand, huh?

Earlier in the month, I had ordered a total of four books, and got three of them, which I have covered one at a time.

Recently, the last of those four books arrived, thus completing my order from Barnes & Noble.

Today, I will be reviewing that book, which is called The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 3 by Kore Yamazaki.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

Things have taken a turn for the worst as Ainsworth has taken on a new form, in order to protect Chise from Cartaphilus, who is the person that ultimately caused troubles in the cat kingdom, Chise must now act before things get worse, though she may get help from a recent acquaintance she met in the graveyard.

However, things are only just beginning when Ainsworth hears that Chise may have a pretty unique future and Chise hears a story that may be talking about Ainsworth's past.

I kind of liked this book.

Like the previous volumes, the moment I opened up the book, I could not really put down until I was finished, which was thankfully not interrupted.

While I am not too familiar with Kore Yamazaki's work outside of this one, though the number of titles written by her is around the same number of titles Jun Mochizuki has done, she seems to be delivering the kind of quality that I thought that I could only get from Pandora Hearts, which I am sad to see end where I live this year.

However, things must eventually come to an end and, hopefully, Kore Yamazaki's work can keep up this feeling, since she was able to draw me into the world of her story right from the very first volume.

For now though, she does deserve praise because it is pretty hard to get a reader interested enough to invest their time in a work.

I really liked how Chise's situation was kind of explored.

Over the course of the story, Chise and Ainsworth's relationship has been developing at a believable and natural rate that I could see one of them confessing their undying love.

However, we cannot forget that Chise is experiencing many things for the first time in her life, and she seems to feel nothing about being discarded by Ainsworth like she was trash and currently stays with him out of obligation from being purchased.

While I do understand where she is coming from, because she has been abandoned by pretty much everyone that should have cared about, I have to agree with Angelica that she is being over-dependent on Ainsworth.

Now, I am not exactly capable of being as independent as many of the other people out there in the world, due to limits on my body that are the way they are because of what happened in the past, but I do try to do the things that I need and want to do, even if I overexert myself, and try to make decisions based on what is practical for me.

Here, Chise is learning that she needs to think for herself and do things that Ainsworth may not want her to do because that is how she will be able to grow as a person.

However, whether or not she is able to stand on her own two feet like Oz Vessalius was able to stand up to his father in the antepenultimate volume of Pandora Hearts remains to be seen.

After all, if she does not learn these things soon, I might end up hating Chise because she would become apathetic in life and even become one of the worst characters out there for making me think that she could develop any more from when her story started two volumes ago.

Speaking of apathy, during the course of reading this book, I saw a conversation that seemed to remind me of what Shinichi Akiyami told Kanzaki Nao during the events of Liar Game.

When Chise was talking with Lindel, Lindel said the following before he started his story:

I'm not upset at you, Chise.

To be honest, I called you here because I am concerned for you.

Ignorance truly is bliss. Anyone would keep their innocence if they could. There is is nothing follish about that. It's how life is.

But to me, Chise, it looks as if he is trying to tame you, as I would a wild reindeer…

And you are allowing him to do it.

But you mustn't.

A person who ceases to think for herself is no longer truly a person.

Why do you feel it is acceptable for him to keep you as if you were a pet?

While it is not exactly the same words that Akiyama told Kanzaki Nao in the 29th chapter of Liar Game, I get the feeling that Lindel is telling Chise to doubt Ainsworth and his intentions, which he claims is to make her is bride and his successor.

Now, you all may be wondering why I think it is a good thing for Chise to be told to doubt Ainsworth when he has so far done only nice things for her and let her have her freedom, but I think what Shinichi Akiyama from Liar Game said in the 29th chapter summed it up best when he said the following:

No.

People SHOULD be doubted.

Many people misunderstand this concept.

Doubting people is simply a part of trying to get to know them.

"Trust."

That act is without a doubt a very noble one…

But you know, what many people do that they call "trust" is actually giving up on trying to understand others.

And that has nothing to do with "trust," but is rather…apathy.

With Chise placing so much of her trust in Ainsworth, and not even questioning it, I have no doubt that she would experience a state of apathy because she never really knew him beyond being her savior from the nightmare that her old life was for her, and she would not realize that everything Ainsworth was doing may have been for his own benefit.

Fortunately, she would not be experiencing the worst possible state of apathy, which I think the country that I live in may be experiencing right now, and becomes more obvious if one continued reading Liar Game further than what I had quoted in this review.

Still, Chise and her relationship with Ainsworth seems somewhat reminiscent of what Kanzaki Nao was like in the beginning of Liar Game, because she has hardly questioned Ainsworth throughout much of the story so far, though she has definitely asked him more than zero questions.

I also liked how Chise has shown some concern for Ainsworth.

For much of the series, Ainsworth has been showing concern for Chise, who was seemingly, and understandably, emotionally closed off to the world, and now seeing what Ainsworth was going through trying to protect her, she finally opened up emotionally and expressed a desire to know more about the one that she is supposedly going to marry in the future, at least if things progress the way they are currently going.

As much as I want Chise to doubt Ainsworth and his intentions, I think that she should at least return the favor of what Ainsworth has done for her.

After all, I do try to show my concern for the people who have helped me out when I needed, and offer to help a few of them, though there also those people that I am annoyed with because they have come to me too often seemingly without doing what they can on their own, so even I have much to work on in my life.

I also like a few of the funny things that occurred.

The funniest of which occurred after Chise got her familiar, who at least one person thought was a significant other.

During many instances in the book, I could not help but laugh at how overprotective her familiar was of her, which seemed to really fit that feeling that he was a significant other, though I too would be concerned about the person I was with because their well-being does have some impact on my well-being as well.

Even though all of this was great and all, there were two things that I liked the most about this book.

First, I noticed that there were things that either had biblical origins, like the name Chise gave her familiar, or originated in myths that seem to occur around biblical times.

While incorporating things from different works is not new, especially since Jun Mochizuki took quite few things from the series that follows Alice and her adventures in Wonderland for Pandora Hearts, I am interested in seeing how Kore Yamazaki does things in this work, because she seems quite capable of writing something that can match Jun Mochizuki's work.

If she fails to deliver what I expect, then this series may be well on its way to the graveyard, which would be sad to see, because of how impressed I am with how she is handling this series.

The second thing that has me interested is that Ainsworth's past may be revealed soon.

Even though something do need to remain a mystery, so that the audience has a reason to continue on with a series, I wonder how Ainsworth came to met Lindel and decided to learn magic under him, since Lindel was said to be Ainsworth's teacher.

Fortunately, I was not disappointed and was given a few hints that the story that is about to be revealed does involve Ainsworth and makes me want to read the next volume right now, though it may take some time to get here because Japan only has four volumes and it is getting to the point where I think that Seven Seas will only release one volume a year, much like Seven Seas only releases one volume of A Certain Scientific Railgun a year because they have pretty much caught up to the Japanese release of that series.

While it is not a mystery aspect exactly that makes me want to continue on, since Pandora Hearts pretty much ended every volume with some very big questions, I wish that many of the series being written today were like this, because some books end at points where the series can just stop, instead of trying to create some kind of incentive to continue on.

Seeing that Kore Yamazaki does not do that, I have to give her quite a bit praise, because this is another hard thing to properly do.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that the story can still draw me in within only a few pages, Chise seems to be opening up emotionally, characters are already telling her to doubt Ainsworth, despite the fact that he has so far only done nice things for her and teaches her what he knows, and that I am interested in how Kore Yamazaki is going to reveal Ainsworth past and incorporate things from the bible or myths that occur in biblical times made this book pretty enjoyable.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues.

However, seeing as the characters in the book already voiced their concern that Chise might be trusting Ainsworth too much, nothing really seemed to bug me, as Seven Seas and the author seem to still both be doing a very good job with this series.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that there was more that I liked about the book than I hated, which ended up being nothing, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of romance, since the way things are progressing still seem to be believable and Chise might learn something that makes her relationship with Ainsworth even stronger.

As for everyone else, this was good enough to give a try, but seeing as knowledge of what happened in previous volumes is important, I would suggesting reading the other two volumes first to see how well you like it.

What are your thoughts on The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 3? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.