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The Black Mage

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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, 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, the beneficiary of the school's "Magical Minority Initiative," begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.


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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, 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, the beneficiary of the school's "Magical Minority Initiative," begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

30 review for The Black Mage

  1. 5 out of 5

    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!

  2. 4 out of 5

    ♡ 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 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 The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley 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 I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 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 I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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. < 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. Thank you Oni Press and Netgalley for the digital copy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brianna - Coffee Books and Bullet Journals

    Thank you to Netgalley. ARC received in exchange for an honest review I had high hopes for this, but unfortunately, to me, it felt like it was just making fun of racism. His name was Token? Whitehorn? St. Ivory school? It just all seemed like a joke to me. I'm also not really a fan of anime and comics/shows like "Dragonball Z" and this felt like the same aesthetic. It just wasn't for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    The theme of this story is clearly the highlight. The story could have used a few more pages to feel less rushed. Plus, it would have been nice to get to know Tom and the overall magic system better. I received an ecopy of this through netgalley; however, all opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

    I really enjoyed this! It's a bit confusing at the beginning, but it's filled with plot twists and layered characters, morally grey characters, and inclusiveness. This is a recommended read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I really wanted to like this. The plot sounded incredible! A story about a wizarding school that is accepting it's first black student sounds incredible. I was so ready for intricate character development and watching the main character (Tom) face racism, while breaking down barriers, proving his worth, and maybe cursing some racists along the way. Instead I got a black boy with his pet crow Jim going I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I really wanted to like this. The plot sounded incredible! A story about a wizarding school that is accepting it's first black student sounds incredible. I was so ready for intricate character development and watching the main character (Tom) face racism, while breaking down barriers, proving his worth, and maybe cursing some racists along the way. Instead I got a black boy with his pet crow Jim going to a school run by the KKK... literally they're all walking around in their outfits. The overt messages in this don't make it bad, but there is no development along with it to keep it from just being a disturbing story. We don't get a backstory on Tom or slowly seeing everything develop and him come out on top. Instead everything happens in one short volume and you're left a bit confused as to what happened. I will say that I liked the art and the idea of this. I just wish it was more developed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    I received an eARC of this graphic novel through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. This is such a fun, fast-paced graphic novel, with a lot more depth then I was expecting, and I really loved it. The parallels with the real world aren't even subtle, and that makes this a poignant graphic novel. But the story is told in a more light-hearted way, and it's often funny. From "St. Ivory Academy", to Tom Token and his companion Jim Crow, and the Academy officials being dressed li I received an eARC of this graphic novel through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. This is such a fun, fast-paced graphic novel, with a lot more depth then I was expecting, and I really loved it. The parallels with the real world aren't even subtle, and that makes this a poignant graphic novel. But the story is told in a more light-hearted way, and it's often funny. From "St. Ivory Academy", to Tom Token and his companion Jim Crow, and the Academy officials being dressed like Klan members, the fantasy serves a purpose to explore the past and present of racial inequality in the US. Rep: Black main character, several Black side characters CWs: racism, violence

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much to Netgalley for sending this to me! The Black Mage is a vibrant, speedy book with an epic art style that’s like a combination of Harry Potter and Little Witch Academia. It’s super action packed, blending different pop-culture references in a way that’s really fun – it’s like lots of little nods to things we know and love. The book follows Tom Token (an awesome wizard who takes no sh*t) and I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much to Netgalley for sending this to me! The Black Mage is a vibrant, speedy book with an epic art style that’s like a combination of Harry Potter and Little Witch Academia. It’s super action packed, blending different pop-culture references in a way that’s really fun – it’s like lots of little nods to things we know and love. The book follows Tom Token (an awesome wizard who takes no sh*t) and his new friend Lindsay (who’s very reminiscent of Hermione Granger in her younger days – pushy and a little bit socially unaware) as they seek to uncover a conspiracy that’s infiltrated the very depths of notoriously non-diverse their magical school, at which Tom is the only black student. I can’t say too much about the subject matter of this book, since racism is a huge theme and as a white person that’s something I have no authority to speak on. What I will say is that this book is often uncomfortable, not shying away from the fact that members of the school board are blatantly racist and that the school’s antiblackness is insidious, driven in to the very core. This makes it hard to read at times, but I feel like it’s an awesome thing for teens to see – a black character kicking ass, tackling racists and winning. While I enjoyed the book, I felt it was a little short for my liking (especially since I believe this is a standalone?) I just thought it could have been expanded to really strengthen it, because it was over so fast that I was quite taken aback by it – the book kind of felt like a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ kind of deal. I also felt that the anime-esque art style worked against it at times. Although I loved the art, the fight scenes were often confusing – something that would have worked really well on-screen just messed with the clarity a little bit for me, so that I wasn’t always sure of what was happening during times of conflict. The campy fights were fun to read, but I did get confused at times. Overall I liked this book and I’m always happy to see more fantasy with POC main characters. Although I’d have appreciated a little more depth and character development, this was a quick and enjoyable read with amazing art – another great book from Oni Press.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patty Zuiderwijk

    I have received an e-ARC via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I have never read that many graphic novels, when I read the description of this one it definitely sparked my interest! Harry Potter was definitely an inspiration, the magical school itself and the train ride and the bird companion are just a few of the obvious. You can hate those details, but I would not see why. This story combines the magic with the first interaction between white m I have received an e-ARC via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I have never read that many graphic novels, when I read the description of this one it definitely sparked my interest! Harry Potter was definitely an inspiration, the magical school itself and the train ride and the bird companion are just a few of the obvious. You can hate those details, but I would not see why. This story combines the magic with the first interaction between white mage students and Tom; who is the first black mage we know. It deals with wanting to do good but it does not come out the way anyone feels comfortable with and also the very, still existing, real disturbing view on how the world should (still) look like according to too many people. Honestly I think this story deserves to be told more detailed and extensive in an actual cartoon show. story :4/5 A lot happened in this short graphic novel, it deserves more of it being told and the characters deserve way more good things happening to them. characters :4/5 Didn't like Bryce; nasty little brat;showing up Jesse&James style. writing :4,5/5 art style :4 Anime style; at times very disturbing. audio/paper :I read the e-book. reread? :Yes I will. I would like to thank #Netgalley, the writer, the artist and of course the publisher for the e-ARC I received; Thank you!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Harry Potter meets Get Out in this irreverent graphic novel about the first black mage to attend an all-white school for sorcerers that just might have some dark secrets. (the principle dresses in KKK getup, to give you some sense of what you are in for). You will find dark humor with pointed jabs at white supremacy, the current American administration, and subtle forms of racism throughout. Some white readers may find it to be uncomfortable, but it is probably intended to be. If you enjoyed the Harry Potter meets Get Out in this irreverent graphic novel about the first black mage to attend an all-white school for sorcerers that just might have some dark secrets. (the principle dresses in KKK getup, to give you some sense of what you are in for). You will find dark humor with pointed jabs at white supremacy, the current American administration, and subtle forms of racism throughout. Some white readers may find it to be uncomfortable, but it is probably intended to be. If you enjoyed the Jordan Peele film Get Out, you might enjoy The Black Mage as well. It has a similar feel, but mashed up with a magical school, comic book action, and the ghosts of Black historical figures like Harriet Tubman. Is it a little over the top? Absolutely, but I still enjoyed it and like what it's trying to do. I expect this to be a polarizing one though, mostly due to people being uncomfortable with the sendup of white microagressions that might strike a little too close to home, or the ironic approach to white supremacy (particularly for readers who aren't familiar with how this has been done before in other Black-created media as a way of pushing back). I received an advance review copy of this graphic novel at Book Expo. All opinions are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Black Mage was a comic about racism, wizardry and friendship. It tells the story of Tom Token, the first black student in a school for mages. He is immediately bullied by his peers except for his student guide who take him under her wing. Then a lot of stuff happens. I really liked this. This was short and interesting and entertaining. I liked the two main characters and the plot was pretty good. The only thing I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Black Mage was a comic about racism, wizardry and friendship. It tells the story of Tom Token, the first black student in a school for mages. He is immediately bullied by his peers except for his student guide who take him under her wing. Then a lot of stuff happens. I really liked this. This was short and interesting and entertaining. I liked the two main characters and the plot was pretty good. The only thing I found unfortunate was how short it was. I felt like there could have had more character insights and developments, like it could have been longer that way and even better. Still a really nice read, I also really liked the art.

  20. 4 out of 5

    xueh wei

    I thought this book was alright, you can tell that it was trying to draw on parallels with American Civil Rights History, the moment the black MC was called "Mr. Token" in an all-white school (lmao) while the headmaster was called Mr. Lynch — too obvious! I appreciated the attempt, but felt the execution was lacklustre. But if you like magic and fighting the bad guys without much depth in plot, just a lot of action, this might be for you. Thank you Netgalley for the free copy for re/> I thought this book was alright, you can tell that it was trying to draw on parallels with American Civil Rights History, the moment the black MC was called "Mr. Token" in an all-white school (lmao) while the headmaster was called Mr. Lynch — too obvious! I appreciated the attempt, but felt the execution was lacklustre. But if you like magic and fighting the bad guys without much depth in plot, just a lot of action, this might be for you. Thank you Netgalley for the free copy for review!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steff Pasciuti

    I have to admit, I was quite thrown within the first several pages of The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and illustrated by D. J. Kirkland. This graphic novel is incredibly bold and immensely terrifying, blatantly exposing racism in a way that can shock the reader, and I think is meant to shock the reader. It's uncomfortable in its own right, but frankly, I think that if it were not uncomfortable, this book would not be doing what it set out to do in the first place. The truth is that racism is uncomfortableof The I have to admit, I was quite thrown within the first several pages of The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and illustrated by D. J. Kirkland. This graphic novel is incredibly bold and immensely terrifying, blatantly exposing racism in a way that can shock the reader, and I think is meant to shock the reader. It's uncomfortable in its own right, but frankly, I think that if it were not uncomfortable, this book would not be doing what it set out to do in the first place. The truth is that racism is uncomfortable and part of the reason that it is so is because racism is not some horrific part of our past that has "passed" and we learned from, it is something that affects people every single day in this country and will continue to do so up until the day that it is confronted, acknowledged, laws and systems of oppression are changed, and the problematic people who support it are pushed out. I know, ultimately, that's a pretty paltry summary and the issue encompasses quite a bit more than that simple list there, but I do believe that The Black Mage is one of those novels that really takes the issues and boldly presents them to anyone who even glances in its direction. And I found that both uncomfortable and amazing. I think the most glaring piece of boldness in The Black Mage comes from the outfit of the Headmaster and others in charge at St. Ivory Academy. To put it bluntly, these people are full on wearing the robes of the KKK. There is no room for uncertainty here; we know that the authorities in the school are massively racist and subsequently we know that racism is not only tolerated, but it is also encouraged. Continuing on, even the name of the school points out the blatant racism. St. Ivory Academy, so cleary to anyone who knows what ivory looks like, is referring to the white skin of the students and faculty. Our main character's name is Tom Token, having roots in racism in two ways. First with the name Tom, which can relate back to Uncle Tom of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, a story that detailed the life of an African American man who was entirely complacent and subservient to whites at his own detriment and that of their race and culture. Secondly, we have his last name, Token, which brings me to the unfortunate truth that the tokenism of having a black friend is incredibly prominent in today's society. You see it with people and you see it with the media. I'm already naming of television shows and movies that have a token character. And Tom here definitely fits the profile of a token as the graphic novel regularly points out that he is the first and only black student at St. Ivory Academy. Racism is also touched upon within the characters' actions and words. They ask the ignorant questions that so many people have done and still do. There are openly racist students who attack and berate Tom solely because of his skin tone. Authority figures not only degrade him, but they also make the suggestion that a "nice white girl" is becoming "trashy" because of her association with him. The headmaster, at one point, even uses the phrase "make St. Ivory great again" in a simultaneously hilarious and painful callback to our President and his very own campaign slogan. In so many ways, The Black Mage is a bold statement on racism that goes out of its way to make sure that the reader understands and sees the problematic issues that are ever present in each situation of the novel. And it really doesn't take much to see the parallels that exist within our society. And if that didn't get you, Tom's adorably illustrated pet crow is named Jim. Now, don't get me wrong. The themes in this book are terrifying. And a large part of the reason they are so terrifying is because they are still relevant today. But I applaud the author's bold and blatant commentary. I hope more people read it and I hope it educates them if they are not already aware of these issues. As a final comment, it was utterly fascinating and cool to see the inclusion of a variety of African American historical figures play a role in the overall story. I won't say much more than that, so you'll just have to pick up a copy to find out. In fact, I would highly suggest that you do. I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Instagram |

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bree (alibraryforone)

    3.5/5 stars This graphic novel is a collision of magic and racial histories, which aren't normally featured in fantasy settings. The Black Mage is a quick read, that covers a lot of material, and keeps you interested. A lot of stuff seems to happen within a tiny window of time. Also, the art style is friendly and belies the seriousness of the topics that make up this book. *Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lexy

    I received a free copy of this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This was fantastic. We met Token, a kid who’s supposed to be the first African American Mage in St. Ivory, a school of magic heavily inspired on Hogwarts. His journey is not easy because everyone sees him as the outsider, but something darker than that is waiting for him. Let’s start: the art was glorious, so colorful, shiny and anime like. It was fast paced, and the pl I received a free copy of this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This was fantastic. We met Token, a kid who’s supposed to be the first African American Mage in St. Ivory, a school of magic heavily inspired on Hogwarts. His journey is not easy because everyone sees him as the outsider, but something darker than that is waiting for him. Let’s start: the art was glorious, so colorful, shiny and anime like. It was fast paced, and the plot was a nice way to introduce us to the blatant racism that sadly still exists out there. I loved Token and Jim, his crow pet? Companion? Or even better, his best friend. I didn’t like Lindsey that much, I think that even without her, Token would have rocked anyway. I finished it like in 30 minutes? And I still want more. • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° • ° Recibí una copia gratuita de esta novela gráfica de Netgalley a cambio de una reseña honesta. Fue fantástica. Este libro nos presenta a Token, un chico que se supone va a ser el primer mago afroamericano en St. Ivory, una escuela de magia que está súper inspirada en Hogwarts. Su estadía ahí no es sencilla puesto que todos lo tratan como si fuera diferente al resto, pero hay algo más oscuro esperando por él. Comencemos: Los gráficos son gloriosos, llenos de color, relucientes, Justo como si fueran parte de un anime. El ritmo es perfecto, en ningún momento decae y la trama es una buena forma de mostrarnos el racismo descarado que tristemente aún existe. Amo a Token y a Jim, si cuervo mascota. Aunque más que eso, es su compañero y mejor amigo. Lindsay no me gustó tanto, siento que incluso sin ella, Token habría tenido la mejor aventura del mundo. Lo terminé en 30 minutos y todavía quiero más de este mundo.

  24. 5 out of 5

    cafeyre

    The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Tom Tolken is a first black mage who was accepted to the St. Ivory Academy for your magicians. His first days at school are not easy because of the color of his skin. He meets Lindsay who keeps his company from the first day there. Besides the high rate of racism in the school, everything looks normal until someone sends Tom an I.D. student card of a black girl Summer who also was a studen The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Tom Tolken is a first black mage who was accepted to the St. Ivory Academy for your magicians. His first days at school are not easy because of the color of his skin. He meets Lindsay who keeps his company from the first day there. Besides the high rate of racism in the school, everything looks normal until someone sends Tom an I.D. student card of a black girl Summer who also was a student of this school. He tries to find out more about this mystery girl and how it is possible that there is no information about her in school records and the internet. Together with Lindsay, he tries to resolve this mystery. The modern story combination of Harry Potter and The Magicians' Guild, which speaks loud about racism and power of friendship. Speedy book with amazing story and art. Tom is a fantastic example of a person who doesn't take words of other people to his heart and instead shows them how much he is worth and stronger than they are. He doesn't resign even if the situation is very tense and hard to solve. He's caring about people he cares about and let no one hurt them. I enjoyed reading this book, even if it took me less than an hour to finish it. However, the book has a lot of important values inside that should be pointed out to everyone. I'd like to recommend this book to all of Harry Potter's fans but also YA fantasy lovers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tanmay Gambhir

    I got the e-arc of this graphic novel from netgalley and the respective in exchange for an honest review. Here is my review of THE BLACK MAGE BY DANIEL BARNES RATING :- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ What I liked :- I completed this graphic novel in one sitting I didn't even get up for a minute. It was a very quick and fun read. I liked how this book tackled issues of racism and how it was connected to what had actually happened in America in the past about Klan and how they treated people of color. The characte I got the e-arc of this graphic novel from netgalley and the respective in exchange for an honest review. Here is my review of THE BLACK MAGE BY DANIEL BARNES RATING :- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What I liked :- I completed this graphic novel in one sitting I didn't even get up for a minute. It was a very quick and fun read. I liked how this book tackled issues of racism and how it was connected to what had actually happened in America in the past about Klan and how they treated people of color. The characters in this story were developed really good in a short amount of time and the pacing was great. I love a book which maintains a proper pace. I loved all the illustrations in this one. The fighting scenes looked so good . I also liked how it connected many plot points together and didn’t create any plot holes. What I didn’t like :- the magic system was not told properly . Though it had some plot twists most then were a little predictable . I hope there is more of these series to come because there is so much to explore. We also don’t get much background about the characters I think that’s important to all the stories

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    3.5 stars rounded up I really enjoyed this story as an introduction to the Black Mage and hope there will be more stories about him. The main character is likeable as is his friend and student liason, Lindsey. The story is sort of like Harry Potter meets the Avengers in the context of the Civil War and racism. I wish there had been a bit more about how the magic worked (especially that hammer), but that may be the function of face-paced graphic novels. I also wish the message of racis 3.5 stars rounded up I really enjoyed this story as an introduction to the Black Mage and hope there will be more stories about him. The main character is likeable as is his friend and student liason, Lindsey. The story is sort of like Harry Potter meets the Avengers in the context of the Civil War and racism. I wish there had been a bit more about how the magic worked (especially that hammer), but that may be the function of face-paced graphic novels. I also wish the message of racism and fighting back wasn't quite in your face, but after reading a few comics and graphic novels, I'm starting to realize that many stories ARE pretty in your face, so that may be just me not used to the format. Still, I would think that a person of color would feel empowered after reading this. Tom is very likeable and I found myself cheering for him throughout and the artwork was colorful and very well done, sort of in the anime style. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chloë Jans

    First of all, this book is incredibly race-focused. That is not a negative nor a positive thing, although you need to know. I didn't and expected more of a magic school with a black kid who also needs to deal with some racism. That is not the case. The magic system isn't really explored. Another thing you should know: this is very inspired by anime so expect a lot of 'epic' battles between characters. In this story, we follow Tom who gets accepted into the St Ivorys academy of Spellcr First of all, this book is incredibly race-focused. That is not a negative nor a positive thing, although you need to know. I didn't and expected more of a magic school with a black kid who also needs to deal with some racism. That is not the case. The magic system isn't really explored. Another thing you should know: this is very inspired by anime so expect a lot of 'epic' battles between characters. In this story, we follow Tom who gets accepted into the St Ivorys academy of Spellcraft And Sorcery as a part of the minority program. He is the first and only black student. In school, he meets Lindsay, a white girl, who annoys him at first. They do become friends later on as Lindsay continues to help Tom. Help Tom with what? Fighting the rest of the school staff and student. Why are they fighting them? Because they are the KKK. Almost. I do like the drawing style and colours. They were very vivid and were just right for the fast pace. It did show a lot of things that may help people understand racism and the degrees of it. It went from "make St. Ivory great again" to some terrifying, really disturbing stuff. It also had the ghosts of historical characters such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Tom also had a crow named Jim. I'm not a person of colour, so I don't feel like I can comment on the realism of it because I have never experienced racism. Thank you Oni Press for providing this copy via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jill Kenna

    This was a fantastic graphic novel. It deals heavily with race and racism at a magic school called St. Ivory Academy. Our main character Tom Token, is the first black student at this school (that we know of). We start off seeing him get asked stupid, racist questions by his new school mates and dealing with people being horrible right off the bat. The rest of the book deals with Tom and his friend Lindsay discovering what the school is really about. I really loved this book. It was very uncomfor This was a fantastic graphic novel. It deals heavily with race and racism at a magic school called St. Ivory Academy. Our main character Tom Token, is the first black student at this school (that we know of). We start off seeing him get asked stupid, racist questions by his new school mates and dealing with people being horrible right off the bat. The rest of the book deals with Tom and his friend Lindsay discovering what the school is really about. I really loved this book. It was very uncomfortable at times because of of the racism that is depicted. But I feel like it should make you uncomfortable. If you read this and you're not like wow all of that is horrible and no one should ever go through that then you need to reevaluate. The artwork in this was amazing and the bright colors were really fun. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this in exchange for review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sofia Blackthorn Of The Wild Hunt

    5 stars! ARC provided by Net Galley and the publishing house in exchange of an honest review. This is an amazing graphic novel, that manages to combine racism,magic and fantasy in 153 pages. My copy was personalized, something I immensely adored. The story follows Tom,a teenage boy who gets accepted into St.Ivorys school of sorcery and being the first minority accepted in this school. I really liked Tom and enjoyed his behavior and manners very much (he was a bada 5 stars! ARC provided by Net Galley and the publishing house in exchange of an honest review. This is an amazing graphic novel, that manages to combine racism,magic and fantasy in 153 pages. My copy was personalized, something I immensely adored. The story follows Tom,a teenage boy who gets accepted into St.Ivorys school of sorcery and being the first minority accepted in this school. I really liked Tom and enjoyed his behavior and manners very much (he was a badass so that helped 😂) and loved his friendship with Lindsay. The similarity between the schools staff and the KKK was very frightening for me, especially since I wanted to dive into the pages of the book and be with Harriet and Fred. I really liked the graphic novel, and I can’t wait to get a finished copy when it’s released!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Black Mage tells the story of Tom, a black teenage boy who is accepted in St.Ivory school of magic (witchcraft) as the very first black person ever to achieve that. Once there he will befriend Lindsay, a white teenage girl who was peacefully enjoying the many various privileges of her witness in a world crafted for people like her. I really enjoyed the way History met and m The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Black Mage tells the story of Tom, a black teenage boy who is accepted in St.Ivory school of magic (witchcraft) as the very first black person ever to achieve that. Once there he will befriend Lindsay, a white teenage girl who was peacefully enjoying the many various privileges of her witness in a world crafted for people like her. I really enjoyed the way History met and mixed with magic. From the very beginning we are introduced to Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and John Henry facing the Klan. The past and the present meet to create a better future hopefully. The graphics are dynamic, colorful, very bright and catchy. I laughed at all the clichés about black mages, loved the cynical names of the crow and the headmaster...well I recommend this to all of us.

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