Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandmother pressure her to attend the Royal Magic Academy–the best magic school in the realm–even though her magic is shaky at best. To train for her entrance exams, Sophie is sent to relatives she’s never met.
Cousin Sage and Great-Aunt Lan seem more interested in giving Sophie chores than in teaching her magic. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but the spell goes wrong, and she accidentally entangles her magic with the magic of a young water dragon named Lir.
Lir is trapped on land and can’t remember where he came from. Even so, he’s everything Sophie isn’t–beloved by Sophie’s family and skilled at magic. With his help, Sophie might just ace her entrance exams, but that means standing in the way of Lir’s attempts to regain his memories. Sophie knows what she’s doing is wrong, but without Lir’s help, can she prove herself?
This graphic novel was an absolute delight to read – in it we follow Sophie, who is finally getting the opportunity to further her magic and possibly go to a famous magic school. She battles that little voice inside her head that tells her she’s a failure, while also trying to find her place and learn where she really lies in her family. When she meets Lir and learns about the consequences of actions things get a bit more complicated. I really loved the story as it unfolded and Sophie learned more about herself and about interacting with others. The artwork is very Ghibli-esque with an extra dash of cute and perfectly fit the story overall. The color palette had a softer feel to it which I felt was great for the seaside setting and the whimsy of the world.
Wendy Xu is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist with several upcoming graphic novels from HarperCollins. She is the co-creator of Mooncakes, a young adult fantasy graphic novel published in 2019 from Lion Forge Comics/Oni Press, which has been nominated for Hugo, Ignatz, and GoodReads Choice awards. Her work has been featured on Catapult, B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, and Tor.com, among other places. Visit her online at www.artofwendyxu.com.
Make sure to check out Tidesong when it comes out on November 16th! Happy reading!