My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In many ways this is an odd manga, with bizarre but interesting storylines. What it is, however, is fast paced. It can be a bit slow at times but this is not the type of story that needs to rush. Chise is finally coming into her own, stepping past her abusive childhood where she did all she could to get by and be unnoticed. She even ropes Elias into helping her, help a dying old man and the leanne sidhe who loved him (and didn't use him as a snack as her type of fae usually does).
However, that aid takes its toll on Chise who is still learning to use magic and things slip by Elias who, in spite of his advanced age, is still learning what it is to be human. This is Chise and our entry into the fae world and it takes from the old ways, when the fae were called the 'good neighbors' not because they were good but because they'd rip you a new one if you were lucky.
There is even a chilling encounter with Cernunnos and the Mother Goddess almost ready to birth the Oak King at the Solstice and again drawing from the old days before pop culture has softened them. They are dangerous capricious deities that even Elias fears.
So this volume gives us Chise and Elias both becoming more human, more caring especially of each other. The art is lovely and I'm looking forward to more.
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