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The Black Mage

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  599 ratings  ·  277 reviews
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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Paperback, 153 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Oni Press (first published August 13th 2019)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  599 ratings  ·  277 reviews


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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!
♡ 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.
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Lost in Book Land
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Emma
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aleksandra
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
* 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
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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 would have
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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.
Silvia
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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,
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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 ...more
Candice
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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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.
Amber
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
orangerful
3.5 stars. I really wanted to love this but if this is the start of a series, I'm here for it. I would love to see more adventures with Tom and Jim. I mean, vanquishing one racist wizarding school probably isn't a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. I want him to take on the world!
Aditi
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
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!
Jamie
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: magic, graphic-novel
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
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Tasha Birckhead
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really did not like this. The good part about it that it was faced paced and the art was nice. Now for the bad. Where do I begin? As a librarian and historian I did not think it was good to put Harriet Tubman in a ninja outfit. I know the creator were using satire but having the protagonist name "Tom Token" with a crow named Jim was too much. Images of hooded clansman, tiki torches along with the headmaster named "Mr.Lynch" were all disrespectful and crossing the line. Being from ...more
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 like Klan
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Helen
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
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 thats like a combination of Harry Potter and Little Witch Academia. Its super action packed, blending different pop-culture references in a way thats really fun its 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
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Patty Zuiderwijk
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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Bethany
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-authors
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 ...more
Rebecca
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Are you looking for a subtle refutation of the far-too-white-Christian magic school genre? Well, you're not going to find it here! This is astoundingly upfront with its imagery, symbolism, and historical references, and while I absolutely did enjoy it and appreciate it as a minority myself (although not Black), I can't help but feel that a little more subtlety would have helped the story to get its message across.

But I also feel like this was written as an angry reflex, a commentary on how God
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Manon the Malicious
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fantasy
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
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Ana Garza
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought the premise was so interesting, and I felt the book delivered! It felt a little short to me, I actually would've liked more. I thought the drawings were great, and the characters made me smile.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
xueh wei
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
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!
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Laura
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Great art, great message, very much pointed and crafted to leave no wiggle room as to its themes and opinions (very rightfully so). Good stuff.
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 ...more
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.*
Libby
Okay, I have to admit, Im wary of passing any sort of judgement of this book. Its really on the nose...as in TOO on the nose. But Im also a white reader, and perhaps my inherent white supremacy makes me unable to read this book the way it was intended to be read.
Let me set the stage of this too on the nose thing though: This school of mages is called St. Ivorys (of course) and it needs the soul of a Black person to feed it every 10 years in order to keep itself afloat in the sky. Its an
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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 whos 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.


Lets 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
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cafeyre
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
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
...more
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