Talk about opening with a bang…
Man, this chapter moved quickly. We skipped through the conclusion of Solomon’s showdown with the magicians, got a rabble-raising speech and ended with further hints of romance to come. Naww.
The action at the beginning was pretty cool, if not quite in the same league as the onslaught unleashed last chapter. Apparently, those Ku-Klux-magicians are willing to go to any lengths to eliminate Solomon – even suicide.
Fortunately for the young god, his international, all-inclusive outlook finally paid dividends as an alliance of hermits, manticores and gorgons rode to his rescue. It was great to see some of the non-human djiin’s origins finally explained (I had always wondered just why Astaroth and Agares appeared a bit odd), although it was more of a surprise to learn that Amon, too, was not quite human -instead being a hermit. Not sure what the difference is, really, but eh, there you go.
After the final attacks came the good ol’ dialogue, and an explanation that it was through the craftsmanship of Ugo that the non-human’s were capable of wielding staves. Bit out of the blue, that, but certainly not infeasible – Ugo has been shown to have been a fricking genius in all things magic tools and so I guess I can just about buy into his ‘remodelling’ of such hugely powerful artefacts in order to allow the non-humans to join the fight alongside mankind.
Whatever the logic, Agares is a bit of a beast (literally), taking the rest of the fleet out single-handedly…
One hit KO, much…
With the battle won in an instant the story moved on again, to focus on Solomon finally achieving that which humanity was originally given the power of magic for by Illah: bringing the various races of Alma-Torran together under his rule. It was a real talk-no-jutsu-esque moment as the young god unified everyone under his proclamation that all races were the same as all races felt love, but it just about falls on the side of believability rathern than that of soppy sentimentality. All very touching – and it laid the path for some great art…
This page in particular was very pretty. Not quite as pretty as last week, but still very impressive.
On a more personal note – and perhaps more importantly – Solomon’s message of luck seemed shadowed in Sheba’s growing affection towards her leader. Having originally been a bit dismissive of Sheba, her character progression has been great and I’m warming to her week-on-week. I especially enjoy her burgeoning relationship with Solomon, which is so damned sweet. If they are Aladdin’s parents, then this story of their movement from hostility to love is looking to be a great one.
Looks like we’re going to be jumping forward in the story from next week, with Solomon set to become a 17 year old. Doesn’t seem the greatest timeskip ever age wise, if I’m honest, but it is good that we are getting so much of a run in Alma-Torran. It’s not looking like we’ll be leaving any time soon, and (despite my intial reservations) I’m increasingly ok with that.
- The story really bombed along this week, but we got a good mix of action and progression which helped to push the story into another phase.
- The growth in Sheba and Solomon’s relationship has been really well handled, and I’m looking forward to watching it develop from here.
- While it was good things are moving, this chapter did feel a bit choppy at times, skittering along at rocket speed. Not a criticism, as such (it was necessary) but it made this chapter feel more bumpy than it could’ve been.
Overall: A solid chapter, blending some good action, progression and just a tad of romance without ever really setting the world alight. I give it a 7/10