Reading Level: Older Teen
Length: 192 pages
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st volume in the Sacred Blacksmith
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Like her father and grandfather before her, Cecily Campbell has entered the knighthood and joined the ranks of the Knight Guards of Houseman. Eager to do her heritage proud and defend her city, Cecily rushes to the marketplace to stop a madman from terrorizing the populace. She quickly realizes, however, that she is hopelessly outmatched and ill-prepared for an actual fight. A lone figure named Luke Ainsworth swoops to the rescue, a swordsman and blacksmith of much renown, who will repair the broken sword Cecily has inherited from her father and take her down a road of perilous adventure beyond her wildest dreams.”
This was a decent start to this fantasy shounen manga series. Cecily comes across as a bit silly at times; she wants to be a Knight Guard like her father and grandfather before her but doesn’t really have the training. She recognizes this and tries to seek out training. However along the way she gets obsessed with the fact that maybe an awesome new sword will make up for her lack of training.
During an incident where a madman starts terrorizing people in the marketplace, Cecily tries to stop the madman but fails miserably only to be rescued by reclusive swordman/blacksmith named Luke.
I thought the drawing was good but not spectacular. The storyline is pretty typical fantasy; complete with Demon Pacts, a lone swordsman who can kill anything, and a hopeful girl who wants to learn how to kill anything.
I enjoyed Luke a lot as a character: he has that whole mysterious lone samurai thing going on. I thought Cecily was okay but she was channeling a bit too much ditsy naiveness for me, hopefully this will be toned down in future books.
Overall this was a good start to this fantasy manga series. Although there’s nothing spectacular in this volume I enjoyed the traditional fantasy storyline and the illustration style. I think the characters have potential but hope that Cecily is less ditsy in future volumes. I would recommend to fans of fantasy manga; this reminds a bit of Claymore or Beserk but isn’t as edgy as those manga.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Graphic Novel Reading Challenge
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge