Book Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 13

The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 13 cover.

I hope everyone is still doing well, and hanging in there
amid the mess of current events.

Things are still the same here as last time, but I can still
do what I like.

Recently, I managed to finally place preorders for two
titles I have been following and both arrived this week.

Today, I will be reviewing the other title, which is called The Ancient Magus’s Bride Volume 13
by Kore Yamazaki.

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

While on a trip with fellow classmates, strange things start
happening around Chisé, with a recent acquaintance falling unconscious during, and
the neighbors are themselves dangerous.

However, when a book thought to be authentic is found to
have been a forged copy and a teacher starts showing the same Symptoms of the
fallen student, parties start making moves outside the shadows.

With how well this series has been going, I am tempted to
give in to blind praise, but if I did that, I would be no better than the people
who disgust me for various reasons, so I have to keep myself from falling into
that trap.

After reading this, I must say that I really enjoyed it.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading it, I was engrossed enough that I did not want to stop reading for any
reason, even though I was more tired than I usually am these days.

As I have said countless times before, one of the most
important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as the beginning is
supposed to bring the audience into another world, thereby giving them the
temporary escape that they desire.

While this can be accomplished in many different ways,
depending on the genre and the medium used to present the work, this series,
much like other manga, is published in a serial publication, which means that
things have to begin in a way that makes sense based upon the last installment.

In the last
, Chisé and the students of the college went on a camping trip in the
Scottish Highlands, which seemed to be mostly peaceful, but after Lucy left the
tent where she and Chisé slept to use the bathroom, Chisé finds her unconscious
and Ainsworth tells Chisé that magic is very much like life force while Chisé
carries Lucy.

During the conversation, the duo note that things are not
right, with the final panel showing them coming into contact with a
centaur-like creature, without initially noticing its presence

In this volume, things start off with Chisé thinking about
how the curse she got had made her overconfident, showing Chisé finally
noticing the creature called a nuckelavee, which I have not heard of before,
though it is definitely a true mythological creature, according to a page
on a site called Transceltic and
other search results turn up as well.

This was the only way the first chapter of this volume could
have started, and, as expected, Kore Yamazaki made a good decision in starting
the chapter off this way, though Mag Garden, or whoever compiled this volume
for deserves some credit too for choosing a good place to start the volume off.

If things did not start off this way, I would have been
really disappointed, as I cannot really think of any other way this volume
could have started out any better, aside from maybe moving the few panels to a
later point, to make it feel like regret for a mistake, rather than being lost
in thought or not as cautious, though I doubt that would have made the first
chapter of the volume any better.

Thankfully, Kore Yamazaki and Mag Garden, or whoever they
had put this volume together, made the only good decision available, which
helped to bring me back into the world of the series, making me want to give
them a good round of applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will start off just as well as
this one did, as that will help keep readers coming back, and possibly give
them an incentive to convince others to check out the series, but seeing as there
was one
instance where things kind of started badly
, I would not be surprised if
there is a repeat of past mistakes, especially because knowing how to start
something is not exactly easy when creating a work of fiction.

I also liked how things started to happen in this volume.

For the longest time, there seemed to be hints of things to
come, like taught of the seven shields and talk of a particular tragedy that
befell a student in the college, and it had me wonder what was going on, beyond
the search for a possible cure to Chisés predicament, but things had been
mostly peaceful, beyond some suspicious activity.

In this volume, it was discovered that a book that was
contained within the walls of the college that talked about things like taking
the life force of others for oneself, creating and eliminating immortal beings,
and reviving the dead was found to be a counterfeit and there were signs of
spider silk contained in the book’s remain.

After that revelation, it is revealed to possibly tie back
to an incident that by all means should not have that big of deal, due to such
tragedies not being uncommon in their world, and Lucy and Seth, the person who
put Chisé up for auction at her request, are attacked by things that they will
finally complete their mission.

After the attack, somebody is shown frustrated with either
Veronica or Philomela, saying she needs to put childish games behind her.

With things like this, and a teacher suffering from the same
symptoms that Lucy suffered in the previous volume, I find myself wondering is
going on and why somebody would want a horrifying book and how it connects to
the tragedy of Lucy’s family, beyond the spider silk.

If something like this had not happened in this volume, I
would have been alright, as the way Kore Yamazaki writes things is not so
boring that things are only interesting when something happens, but I doubt
that there would have truly been anything that notable after the events in the
Scottish Highlands, not to mention would have made things feel slower than

Fortunately, things did start to happen, which makes me want
to give Kore Yamazaki some applause, especially seeing as it finally brings
what happened to Lucy on the camping trip into focus, even though it will still
be a while before answers are given or guesses are confirmed.

Another thing that I liked was what Cartaphilus said after
Chisé talked with him.

After the events in the Scottish Highlands, Chisé goes to
ask Cartaphilus about what she heard when dealing with the nuckelavee, he goes
tells her than she made the right, but had no idea if the voice was from the
dragon, as she suspected, and has her leave after telling her it came from
somewhere in her.

After Chisé departs, Cartaphilus, in his mind, says:

What you heard Chisé was the voice of a dragon cursing
humanity in a fit of fear and rage. You’ve lived through ugly parts of my past.
You’ve seen where hatred and malice are conceived and born. You’ve experienced the
feeling of listening to the voices and inflicting harm. Once you know how it
feels to strike another down…

And he verbally continues, “no matter how hard you try, you
can’t regain your innocence.”

This felt powerful to me because even though I do not know
the feeling of strike people down, it is true in regards other than taking a
life, such as how I can no longer understand people who throw around the excuse
of familial obligation to do something, without really understanding what those
obligations actually are beyond what children taught, or attempts to try and
put people in the shoes of others, when I know that is just the thoughts and
feelings of the person themselves and it might not actually be how the other
party feels or would feel.

As kids, we may be innocent and believe whatever our elders
tell us, like how a person who takes a life can never regain their innocence,
we can never regain the innocence of child when we learn what has been taught
as healthy is harmful or words we thought brought peace to others, like
reminding people that nobody is perfect, does not really help people as much as
telling them that they are perfect the way they are, in spite of those flaws.

Like a child, Chisé wished there was another answer to
handle the threat instead of the solution she took, but because she did take
it, it would probably be easier for her to succumb again, though I think that
she might put up a fight in her mind, with how much she is struggling with what
she did.

If this were not included, I would not have really gotten
why Kore Yamazaki thought it was a good idea to include a scene with
Cartaphilus, even though it is obvious that Chisé is still learning what it
means to live in the course of this series, because she did not really get
anything out of the conversation itself, other than the fact that taking a life
is the best possible choice in some situations and that she has to deal with
things inside herself to be at peace, which would make me, and likely others,
wish that he was not included.

Thankfully, the things Cartaphilus said did not seem to be
as pointless as they would have appeared to be, so Kore Yamazaki and those helping
her to bring out the best work she can deserves some small praise.

Hopefully, more otherwise useless exchanges will hold some
weight in future volumes, but seeing as Kore Yamazaki and those helping her
make sure she is putting out the best work possible are only human, I would not
be surprised if there something in this department that would irritate me

The thing that liked the most about this volume though was
how it ended.

Aside from how things begin, another very important aspect
to a work is how things end, as the ending is either supposed to leave the
audience satisfied, if it is a standalone work, or give them reason to read
more, if it is an installment in a series.

While The Ancient Magus’s Bride has never really had problems
in this area, as far as I remember, it has almost consistently had me on the
end of my seat, either wanting questions answered or to find out what happens
next, and this volume is no different.

After the dealing with the threats to Seth and Lucy’s lives,
Chisé and Lucy talk while Ainsworth and the school try to find out why a
teacher started experiencing the same symptoms as Lucy and if the cause was the
same and Lucy says that Chisé’s decision to let the threat live may actually
lead to the party responsible for the Webster tragedy.

A little later, Chisé thinks about what she just realized,
the scene shifts to the person I had said showed frustration with either
Veronica or Philomela, with the last few panel giving off an air that something
was about or happen, or, if taken in the context that was given in the volume,
a sign that she might be behind the Webster tragedy.

Because I am wondering what will happen and if this woman is
an enemy, I really want to go out and get the next volume right now, but seeing
as the next volume does not come out until April of next year, according to the
product page on Amazon, I’ll have to
wait for it like everyone.

If the volume had not ended like this, I might have been
disappointed, but considering that I cannot find too much of what happens
later, aside from there being only two chapters that have yet to be compiled
into a volume and two additional chapters with no info at the time I wrote this
review, I cannot say that there was indeed another way to end the volume.

Fortunately, this volume ended in the best possible way,
which makes me feel like giving both Kore Yamazaki and Mag Garden, or whoever
they had put this volume together, a round of applause for a job well done.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end just as well
as this one did, but because it can be hard to decide how books like this
should end can be difficult, I would not be surprised if I am disappointed some

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that stood out as much as what I talked

Because the book was able to capture my interest quickly and
hold it right up to the end, things started happening, Cartaphilus’s thought
seemed powerful, and the ending has me anxious to find out what is going on,
this was a great read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things too minor to talk about, such as
typos, and an issue that I had with volume
occurring again, though not as bad, nothing seemed to bother me too

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

Considering there was quite a bit to like and nothing to
really hate, beyond a double page spread being presented as a single page,
which was not as annoying this time, this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Ancient Magus’s
, as they will like this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
I highly recommend reading the other volumes first, to be able to really enjoy

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patreon or SubscribeStar, or if you would
like a copy of the reviewed title buy
The Ancient Magus’s Bride Volume 13
from Book Depository, so I can
continue following this series and possibly find more worthwhile reads for you
guys to check out.

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