Radiant Graphic Novel Volume 9 cover image
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Seth is an apprentice Wizard, and he is also one of the “Infected.” Seth was infected by creatures called “Nemeses.” Being an “infected one” is what gives Wizards their powers, and having survived the corruption of the Nemeses, Wizards are the only ones that can fight them. Seth is learning how to use magic (called “fantasia”) to fight the Nemeses, but his ultimate goal is to find and to destroy their mythical nest, Radiant.
As Radiant, Vol. 9 (Chapters 61 to 68) opens, the battle of Caislean Merlin rages on. It's the Inquisitors versus the Wizards in the Inquisition's latest move to enslave the Infected. Queen Boadicée unleashes her magic and enters the battle stop the invasion, at great risk to herself, as the Inquisitors have the ability to drain away fantasia.
Seth's friends battle for their freedom and their lives. Ocho the young Wizard Knight is aboard an Inquisition ship facing Mordred, who had been her friend since they were children. Now, she wonders what he truly is. Mélie battles the female Inquisitor who captured her during early in the invasion of Caislean (“castle”) Merlin. Meanwhile, Seth faces Santori, a “Thaumaturge” who claims to have fought Seth several times in the past, but Seth only remembers fighting him once prior...
[This volume includes a question and answer section, in which Tony Valente answers fans' questions.]
THE LOWDOWN: The Radiant manga is also a “manfra,” a French comic (“bande dessinées”) that draws inspiration from or mimics “manga,” Japanese comics. Radiant is good enough that it attracted the attention of a Japanese publisher. VIZ Media is currently publishing Radiant as a series of graphic novels... that gets better with each volume.
Radiant Graphic Novel Volume 9 is another great entry in this increasingly fantastic series. Beginning with Vol. 5, Radiant has been on a surprising run. It is as if creator Tony Valente suddenly began to hit his creative stride in what he was trying to do with this series. Everything came together, and Radiant became an action-fantasy of non-stop thrills, thanks in part to Anne Ishii's excellent translation.
Valente's art is an explosion of magic with battles raging with such energy that they seem to leap of the pages, an energy matched by letterer Erika Terriquez. I found the first volume of Radiant to be intriguing and showing potential, but I never expected it to be what it has become – one of today's best magical fantasy graphic novels series.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of fantasy, action, and magic will want to read Radiant.
9 out of 10