The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes, DJ Kirkland| ARC

Expected Publication : 29  October . 2019

Genre: Fantasy | Sequential Art

Pages: 153

Publisher: OniPress

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

 What is it about?

The Black MageWhen 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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Explores Racism In a YA Setting :

I love how Tom isn’t the distressed black character that feels he is being treated badly, and is helpless about the situation. The fantasy setting helps quite a bit, with making this a story of trying to fit in a uncomfortable situation. I also loved the part where  the story addresses racist stereotyped questions people ask unintentionally while talking to a POC being.


While the plot  focuses around minority oppression, the story does have an adventure, and a mysterious vibe to it. I was not a big fan of how it ended, and was rather hoped it did not wrap up  so quickly.

Even though it does have a promising plot. I found my self constantly reminded of several Harry Potter Scenes since it has quite a similar setting and tropes.
However, some of the come backs by Tom is worth a read, and made me chuckle throughout the book.

Art Style:

The Art style has more of a Manga / Anime feel to it. Loved the fighting scenes and the graphics were done really well!


I will recommend to read this book , if you like Lumberjanes or Harry Potter. This book has a lot of similar tropes to them, with a lovely take on  racism.


Rating: ★★★


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