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Mage: World of Warcraft    by Richard A. Knaak & Ryo Kawakami order for
by Richard A. Knaak
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The World of Warcraft universe translates well into manga, and many series have been spun off the franchise. Unlike most World of Warcraft manga, Mage, written by Richard A. Knaak and drawn by Ryo Kawakami, is a one-shot, letting fans feel satisfied at the end instead of eagerly waiting months and months for the next installment.

Aodhan wants to follow in the footsteps of all his male relatives and be a mighty paladin or warrior. However, no matter how hard he tries, physical combat is not his thing. He is more like his uncle Crevan, the only other male in his family to become a mage and also the family's black sheep. Crevan has not been seen for years and is thought dead. When dragons begin attacking the floating city of Dalaran, Aodhan is sent to help secure the violet hold, where it turns out Crevan is being held prisoner. Aodhan releases his uncle, only to discover too late that Crevan was rightly jailed as he is on the side of the dragons. Now Aodhan must decide which is more important country or family.

Mage takes place over a short period of time, which works well with the story being confined to one book. However, it seems that it could have been a little bit shorter as much of the dialogue towards the end is Aodhan telling himself things that might not be obvious to the reader of a novel but are easily portrayed in the graphic format of a manga. Kawakami's illustrations, though, are perfect for the story, helping to showcase Aodhan's tough decisions as the city literally crashes around him. Kawakami's artwork has definite lines and just the right amount of embellishment to help the action flow smoothly rather than get lost amid too much detail.

World of Warcraft: Mage will please fans of the mage class in the popular universe. For those not familiar with World of the Warcraft, this is still a good tale of a mage coming into his own powers.

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