Not my usual read, not being well acquainted with manga or light novel adaptations of it. I picked A Brush With Magic up at a Japanese convention late 2018, having seen author Sonia Leong at a stall, and the artwork and light novel concept reached out to me. The artwork was striking, and the personality of the characters fit perfectly with the written versions. The story was pleasant and made me chuckle a few times. It has a heart-warming tone and a sense of light-hearted adventure combined with dark peril and exaggerated threat.
The author has a great awareness of character and perception, related through her characters, who both have tragic powers that mark them as different from the norm and make them unable to fit in. Vulpine warrior Rua saves Mage Silas from bandits and they both develop a connection, understanding each other and yet with there being enough to be discovered about each other. Ultimately, I felt the story was about acceptance and reliability, which were things both characters wanted from each other and they couldn’t get enough of either.
There were some neat ideas in the story too, of a magical inbox Silas can create to withdraw items and send them, like an ‘enhanced postal system’. I liked this concept. It was my opinion that the writing was very good where description and action was concerned. Check this out: ‘Before anyone could take another breath, Rua drew her hand back and flung the dagger at him with full force. It spun, end over end, embedding itself square in the middle of the bandit’s forehead with a sickening thunk’.
There was a scene involving Silas and Rua where they intended to go to a club and I wanted to see what happened when ‘they got there’, and I was disappointed when it was related to other characters instead, but this was my only qualm.
Reading ABWM was a positive and enjoyable experience, with humour and real and lovable characters. The story had thought and care put into it, and the illustrations certainly did! What an excellent and well put-together story!