Manga can have a wide variety of subject material, from modern to historical, realistic to fantasy, and everything in between. I, of course, love my fantasy and science fiction settings, so when I found a two-volume series about a romance involving an aristocratic young woman and a prince in the magical kingdom of Savarin, I was instantly intrigued.
The Lapis Lazuli Crown by Natsuna Kawase follows Miel, a girl who has magical powers but isn’t very good at using them. She is, however, very good at destroying things with her superhuman strength. At the beginning of the story, she runs into Prince Radian (who happens to be dressed as his non-prince alter ego, Radi). With his encouragement, Miel finally starts to work seriously on her magic skills, eventually becoming good enough to work by Radi’s side as they reinforce the magical barrier around their kingdom.
The love story is fun, of course, but what I truly found fascinating in this series was the theory behind using magic. Every book that involves magic has some sort of “magical theory” attached – rules about how the magic works or is used. These rules can vary from author to author, but generally magic is never unlimited or all-powerful (otherwise, it wouldn’t be much of a story). In The Lapis Lazuli Crown, magic is channeled through stones, often worn in the form of jewelry. Wielding higher amounts of magic requires a higher amount of physical strength and stamina – so Miel, with her unladylike brute strength, is capable of wielding of the high level of magic that flows through her, whereas young Prince Citron, whose body is quite frail, is unable to handle the large volume of magic that he possesses. Thus the proper use of magic is two-fold, requiring both physical prowess and a channeling stone.
The magical theory of The Lapis Lazuli Crown isn’t too far off from the rules of magic we see in my own book, The Heart of Everything. Emer is human, and since she is no longer as physically strong as the elven priestess, she requires the amulet to control her magic. Nor is her magic infinite; we learn from Alex that the priestess was once extremely powerful, but over time (and possibly multiple attempts to reincarnate) that volume of magic has diminished, leaving Emer with next to nothing. And even that small amount of magic is used up completely over the course of the story.
Of course, magic may seem like the better option compared to being “average” or “ordinary,” but any solution that doesn’t involve God (such as the use of magic) is never the best answer. Therefore, my stories tend to showcase the supernatural as something that falls short in the grand scheme of things – like when Emer loses her powers just as she arrives in hell, and must rescue Jesse as a mere human. Look for more such examples in my future books! ;-)
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.