An Americanized manga, Sorcerers & Secretaries hooked me with the name. I was expecting a evil-fighting admin assistant with a pen that dissolves evil and a stapler that will fend off the most intimidating magical creature. What I found was something completely different.
Nicole is a receptionist and college student who lives her life in a dream world that she spins through writing sword and sorcery tales. We can all relate to her immediately with issues such as, an annoying mom, annoying job and coworkers, wanting to write instead of work, and everyone in her life putting down her interests by saying “that childish fantasy stuff you like”. This tale started slow for me, but won me over with its cute book references and speculative fiction inside jokes that only we understand. Although the art is very American (circa 1980’s Sunday morning newspaper comics), the drawings of the bookstore are great and had me pause for a few minutes to read the titles. One cover I especially got a chuckle from was “LARP for Beginners”. A new twist in this tale is that the cute hottie at the bookstore actually likes the geeky, book-loving, allergy girl.
The author is definitely in our demographic and should be supported for that alone. However, this is not a tale I would recommend for its excellent fantasy story. This book is not so much a fantasy story as a romance where the lead is in love with the lead character in her fantasy novel. Like Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, the girl is wrapped up in a fantasy tale so completely that she cannot see a real guy who wants to date her. Still, an amusing, quick read and one that despite its cover warning 13+, is safe for all readers. Sorcerers and Secretaries is a great gift for your teenage cousins who are into the fantasy/romance genre.
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