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Aventura, Volume 1


Aventura, Volume 1

It seems like every fantasy with a trio of young students enrolled in a magic school can't help but be compared to Harry Potter. AVENTURA will definitely appeal to Harry Potter fans, but while some of the setup is the same, enough is different to make it engaging for all kinds of readers. The series will specifically appeal to fans of bookish high fantasy adventures, complete with vivid worldbuilding and a plucky hero with hidden powers.

Lewin Randit has no magical talent: he cannot work even the simplest spell. He's astonished when he's accepted to the top magical school around, where each student chooses their course of study: traditional wizard magic or magical swordplay. Each discipline requires its own talents and skills, and although Lewin dreamed of taking the wizarding route, he enrolls in swordsmanship to honor his grandmother's wishes. Upon arriving, he deals with the difficult side of being an odd man out: he's ridiculed by his fellows in the swordplay track for his inability to do any spells even as he consistently surpasses his classmates through sheer determination. Luckily for Lewin, his hidden talents have already started catching the attention of friends and professors.

When a wizarding student, Soela, literally collides with him in the library, Lewin makes his first friends with the spunky girl and her study partner, the brainiac high elf Chris. As the students discover that the two tracks of study are vastly different from what rumors led them to believe, the trio starts to work together to figure out the gaps in understanding. While Lewin still toils away under the watchful eye of his stern professor and endures the scorn of his classmates, Soela and Chris open up a new world for him in revealing the history and methods of their magic. In turn, Chris clues in that Lewin's powers may be hidden beneath what Lewin thinks of as tricks and luck. Chris also realizes that they're beginning to deal with forces beyond what any of them yet understands. Can these three figure out how to master their crafts without putting everyone in danger?

The art in AVENTURA really shines --- the lush detail in everything from the architecture of the school down to the uniforms' cuffs makes the world feel real, and the characters are charming. This first volume balances getting to know the lead characters and putting them in peril so they start to show off their stuff --- and the suspenseful ending leaves the reader hungry for the next installment. It’s not particularly original, but it’s a solid fantasy series, especially for readers who enjoy traditional sword and sorcery adventures rather than the manga standard of urban fantasy.

Reviewed by Robin Brenner on November 27, 2007

Aventura, Volume 1
by Shin Midorikawa

  • Publication Date: November 27, 2007
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • ISBN-10: 0345497449
  • ISBN-13: 9780345497444