The Black Mage

The Black Mage

The School for Good and Evil meets Dread Nation in this subversive original graphic novel where race, history and magic collide. When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token,...

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Title:The Black Mage
Author:Daniel Barnes
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Black Mage Reviews

  • Emma

    3.5 Stars

    I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. I very much appreciated the concept of seeing the theme of racism explored in a fantasy setting. There are definitely similarities between St. Ivory Academy’s headmaster and his colleagues and the members of the KKK, this much was pretty obvious and I think it was explained fairly well.

    Tom was a very likable main characters and I a

    3.5 Stars

    I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. I very much appreciated the concept of seeing the theme of racism explored in a fantasy setting. There are definitely similarities between St. Ivory Academy’s headmaster and his colleagues and the members of the KKK, this much was pretty obvious and I think it was explained fairly well.

    Tom was a very likable main characters and I admired his confidence and also his bravery. I’m glad he got Lindsay’s help and that the two became friends. And also I’m very glad that Tom managed to free himself, defeat the headmaster and escape.

    I wish we could have had some more explanations about the magic system and I would have loved for this book to be the first in a series. I think there could be more to explore in this story.

  • Becky

    This is a fantastic fantasy graphic novel which is set in a magical school which is run by the Klan. The school has just allowed a black person to attend under the guise of adding diversity to their school at last, but everything isn't what it seems. The other students immediately have a problem with the new addition to the school, but he never allows it to get to him. Even when everything unfolds all at once, he keeps himself together. I won't go into detail about the plot because this is somet

    This is a fantastic fantasy graphic novel which is set in a magical school which is run by the Klan. The school has just allowed a black person to attend under the guise of adding diversity to their school at last, but everything isn't what it seems. The other students immediately have a problem with the new addition to the school, but he never allows it to get to him. Even when everything unfolds all at once, he keeps himself together. I won't go into detail about the plot because this is something one needs to go into without knowing too much about it, because it takes so many twists and turns!

    I love the illustration style, the story pacing, the plot is incredibly gripping and intense, the magical element is brilliant and extremely interesting (though obviously similar to Harry Potter), the characters are well fleshed out in the short span of the book, and the story itself is incredibly powerful, and even though it is set in a magical world it feels incredibly real for the struggles that you read about black people going through. Obviously, I'm not a POC so I cannot comment on the realism of it; but relating to stories I've read from POC in the past, it feels similar to that. It feels so raw, intense and leaves a powerful note etched in your mind. But it really is a fantastic graphic novel; one of the best out there and I would recommend this to people of all ages!

    Trigger warnings for racism, violence, abuse.

  • Candice

    Black boy magic! This was such a great comic and I can really see kids and teens enjoying it. Not only does it take you to a world filled with magic, but we're also getting American history mixed in. Readers will recognize historical figures and race discrimination that has long plagued this country. Seeing a young black boy triumph over evil oppressors is the type of story young people need to see more often. Definitely recommend to any comic fan, especially because the art is beautiful.

  • ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    This graphic novel is about a Black kid who gets accepted into a shady magical school that turns out to be run by actual KKK.

    I really liked the art and colors, and I loved the message of fighting your oppressors with the help and the strength of the generations that came before you.

    I do like stories with powerful messages to be a little more subtle or metaphorica

    This graphic novel is about a Black kid who gets accepted into a shady magical school that turns out to be run by actual KKK.

    I really liked the art and colors, and I loved the message of fighting your oppressors with the help and the strength of the generations that came before you.

    I do like stories with powerful messages to be a little more subtle or metaphorical, especially when they take place in a fantasy/alternate reality, which is why I'm giving it "only' 3.5 stars (rounded up), but I also wholeheartedly recommend it and think that these types of in-your-face, no-space-for-misunderstanding-the-message-here stories are becoming more and more important every day. A Black kid will read this comic and feel empowered and that's what matters.

  • ♡ ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴀ ᴍ ♡

    *4.5 / 5 stars

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing this e-ARC for me in exchange for an honest review.❣

    I really enjoyed reading this book and it was quite a quick read for me. I finished The Black Mage like in half an hour because it was fun and I was so excited to see what would happen next in the story. If someone are finding a graphic novel concerning magic, I would highly recommend this.

    *4.5 / 5 stars

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing this e-ARC for me in exchange for an honest review.❣️

    I really enjoyed reading this book and it was quite a quick read for me. I finished The Black Mage like in half an hour because it was fun and I was so excited to see what would happen next in the story. If someone are finding a graphic novel concerning magic, I would highly recommend this.

  • Hristina

    I loved the anime inspired art style and the colors, I thought it looked really cool. I enjoyed the story too, it was a bit more race focused than I expected, but I liked how it was handled. I thought the pace was a bit fast and I feel like I would've enjoyed it even more if there was more back story, about the characters and about the school.

    Overall it's a fast and enjoyable read, and the story is interesting. It just makes you wish there was more.

  • Lost in Book Land

    I know when this post goes live October will be almost over but I love October and fall so much why not celebrate it all I can! I received an ebook ARC of this book on Netgalley from the publisher over the summer and I really wanted to read it on a particular day but I did not want to post my full review on my site until it got much closer to when the book came out. At the actual time I read it, the book still had over two months before it came out but I still wanted to get my thoughts down soon

    I know when this post goes live October will be almost over but I love October and fall so much why not celebrate it all I can! I received an ebook ARC of this book on Netgalley from the publisher over the summer and I really wanted to read it on a particular day but I did not want to post my full review on my site until it got much closer to when the book came out. At the actual time I read it, the book still had over two months before it came out but I still wanted to get my thoughts down sooner so that I would not forget something as time went on. I will put this review on my Goodreads once I am done writing it, however, like I said the post will go live much closer to the release date!

    SPOILERS AHEAD

    This graphic novel takes place at St. Ivory's a magical school that kind of hovers or floats in the air that is downright gorgeous. The school trains younger witches or wizards in the magical arts and they have a new initiative the "Magical Minority Initiative." This initiative is to bring diversity to the school and the student who is the recipient of this award is Tom Token. Tom is excited to be attending the school however, he quickly becomes skeptical not just because of how others are treating him but because of this student ID that ends up in his possession. I do not want to give away to much but Tom takes it upon himself to try to track down the owner of this mystery ID and finds so much more.

    First and foremost I love the art in this graphic novel, the colors pop and the drawings are amazingly done. I thought the idea of St. Ivory's and the characters themselves were very interesting and I honestly wanted to know more about St. Ivory's than even the book relieved but I think that maybe because I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I love all things magical schools. I am giving this graphic novel four stars on Goodreads!

    **I was given this ebook ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Aleksandra

    * netgalley arc for a review*

    The Black Mage is fun action-packed can-be-read-as-a-standalone graphic novel, exploring racism in a modern world fantasy setting. The book is a total page-turner! I've devoured the whole volume in less than an hour. I love the vibrant colors and the panel composition. The fighting sequences are particularly excellent. The arc is a full color one and what a pleasant reading it was!

    The intro says the comic is inspired by Japanese media and you

    * netgalley arc for a review*

    The Black Mage is fun action-packed can-be-read-as-a-standalone graphic novel, exploring racism in a modern world fantasy setting. The book is a total page-turner! I've devoured the whole volume in less than an hour. I love the vibrant colors and the panel composition. The fighting sequences are particularly excellent. The arc is a full color one and what a pleasant reading it was!

    The intro says the comic is inspired by Japanese media and you can clearly see it! The fightings feels as exciting as in shonen fight manga and the power attacks feel like in a game. I was delighted. Also it's an ownvoices for black representation as both the writer and the artists are black men.

    The main character is Tom, first black mage to be admitted in a white-only magical school, but him being there might not be as simple as education.

    I like Tom, I like his strong will and courageous heart. I like how smart Tom is, in one scene he was like "screw the rules which bounds you to fail, break them and get on an equal ground". Also he is sarcastic and he has a pet crow, what a dude!

    The second prominent character is a white girl mage Lindsay who has a good heart, she's ignorant but she learns. I liked her growth and her and Tom dynamics.

    The core themes of the novel is fighting and winning against racism, white supremacy and 'make our school great again" white people. But the heroes fight them with magic which is double exciting to see.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the book. The only complains I have are minor ones, like the abrupt shifts from the scenes and a too rushed ending.

    All in all, I highly recommend to pick up the book when it's released on October 29th. I hope we get a follow-up volume. The story stands on its own perfectly well, but I just want more time with Tom and Lindsay.

  • Devann

    actual rating: 3.5

    This was maybe a bit too simplistic or 'on the nose' at times but it was funny and entertaining and I liked the main characters and the art style. At first I thought it was a bit much that ALL the wizarding stuff had synonyms for white in their names and that the main character was literally named 'Token', but this book REALLY leaned into the satire aspect of its plot and ultimately I think that was a good thing. I w

    actual rating: 3.5

    This was maybe a bit too simplistic or 'on the nose' at times but it was funny and entertaining and I liked the main characters and the art style. At first I thought it was a bit much that ALL the wizarding stuff had synonyms for white in their names and that the main character was literally named 'Token', but this book REALLY leaned into the satire aspect of its plot and ultimately I think that was a good thing. I would have honestly liked for it be a little bit longer so we could get more depth in the characters, but it was a fun quick read and definitely got its message across.

  • Emily (Obsessed Reader)

    I was given an e-book of this graphic novel for free for review by Netgalley.

    This was a very quick read, but it still had a lot of great points and topics covered in the short amount of time. I enjoyed this and I think that it could turn into a good series. The artwork was more of a very colorful anime, which I liked. I hope there will be more to come!

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