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A Kingdom of Quartz Volume 1 Review

Updated: May 3


Publisher Summary

An orphaned girl named Blue has always dreamed of joining the ranks of the noble Angels, servants of the floating palace who protect the Quartz Kingdom against demons. Yet, Blue is not like the other children at the orphanage. Where their fledgling angel wings are downy white, Blue's are pitch black, giving rise to whispers that she is cursed.


One day, the orphanage comes under attack by a host of demons. Angels swoop down from the palace to drive the demons back, but Blue watches in horror as they are cut down one after another. Just when all seems lost, Blue feels a dark power welling up inside of her. It may be enough to avenge her friends...but will the cost prove too great?


Story and Art: BOMHAT

Letterer: Belynda Ungurath

Editor: Andres Oliver


I received A Kingdom of Quartz Volume 1 as an Advanced Review Copy from Kodansha USA in exchange for an honest review.


 

Background


A Kingdom of Quartz started serialization in Kodansha's Afternoon Magazine December 23th, 2022.


Kodansha USA announced on May 23rd, 2023 that A Kingdom of Quartz will be getting a physical release February 27th, 2024.


 

Review


In this world, war and strife are the primary forces in action. In order to bring peace, the goddess in this tale split the world into two beings: winged beings named Celes, who carried out the will of this goddess, and those who are classified as demons. While demons were banished to a realm referred to as The Darkness, Celes were given a domain to rule to carry out the goddess's will. Those celes are named Quartz, Lovecraft, Alrune, and Lucia. These four families worked together to create a domain named the Quartz Kingdom for future Celes to live in peace.




Which brings us up to our main character: Meet Blue, an orphaned girl who's always dreamed of joining the ranks of the Angels. But unlike the other kids who have white wings, blue has pigmented wings, about which little is known. However, that detail doesn't stop Blue from being the brightest in the room and helping those around her. This title does a really good job making you feel for Blue, as her can-do attitude made me feel in awe.


For example, in the beginning chapters, we see Blue stand up to a few bullies picking on one of her friends named Noah. Albiet doesn't succeed in her attempt and falls into the arms of one of the highest-ranking members of the Quarts Kingdom, Prince Cassian.


As she regains her balance, she immediately introduces herself to him and proudly exclaims how she wants to become an angel just like him. However, instead of fanfare, we're treated to silence as onlookers look in disgust at Blue's pigmented wings and cluelessness. As she gets belittled by the townsfolk, even going so far as to call them demons, one of them raises a tomato to throw at her before a giant white wing protects her. Prince Cassian reassures Blue of her passion to become an angel and hands her the archangel badge. Another member of Cassian's group steps forward to explain that no matter who you are, as long as you carry the badge, you'll be seen as an angel. This heartwarming moment gets interrupted as one of the caretakers finds blue and rushes away back to the orphanage.



We cut back to our main protagonist wanting to do late-night reading before she notices that the quartz that shines bright in the night suddenly turns dark, and as she enters the bedroom, she encounters a disturbing sight along with the one thing that hasn't entered the kingdom since it's founding: a demon. Without diving too much into spoiler territory, we're shown a sequence of events that really showcases the "darkness" in this fantasy tale, which enables our main character Blue to awaken mysterious powers inside her, which sets the reader up for this Quartz Kingdom.



This title's artwork is something that needs its own section. It's absolutely incredible; the character designs, the aesthetic of Quartz Kingdom, and the angels and archangels really hold your attention. Especially when the story takes a dark turn and shows scenes of brutality that bestow on our cast of characters. I'm probably thinking too deeply, but it's almost refreshing to see a story such as this one give an equal amount of attention to detail to its darker tones as it's lighthearted ones. This panel here with Blue and Prince Cassian is one of many examples throughout this volume that execute this duality perfectly.



This leads into another strong suite of this title, it's power system and it's world-building. As the volume wraps up, we see a time-skip where Blue is on her way to take an entrance exam to fulfill her dream of becoming an angel. Here we're introduced to other Celes from the four different districts, each with their own distinct look to differentiate from one another. Here we meet another Cele named Killian, who, similar to Blue, is different from the others in the fact that he only has a single wing instead of two. Which brings us to this world's power system. In the Quartz Kingdom,, its power comes in the form of Solus: a source of energy that is the life force of these Celes. However, it's explained that Celes can produce this energy to fly or cast magic, though not all Celes are able to use solus easily.



These nuggets of information that's presented have me asking myself questions to the point where I pre-ordered Volume 2 immediately after reading this one because, while we saw a few hints of discrimination while Blue was on the train, is there something more deeply rooted between each of the different districts? Is there a correlation between someone's district and their ability to produce solus? Is there something like producing too much? or too little? So many questions honestly made me super excited to want to know more.


 

Final Thoughts


A Kingdom of Quartz is a really good dark fantasy story that excels in its art, storytelling, world-building, and most importantly, its main character, Blue. It isn't afraid to showcase how dark it'll go while providing an engaging story that makes you want to know more, learn more, and see what else will be in store for our main character, Blue. This is definitely a must-buy to add to your collection, and I'm glad Kodansha USA picked this one up for an English release and kept the localization true to the author's original intent.


I usually don't do this with reviews, but I want to ask you guys something: on the last page of this volume, we see a door. Will she open the door in the darkness? I wonder if our main character would open this one like another certain chainsawed character who has a locked door within them.



Addendum: It's "An Average Day at Quartz Co. Bonus Chapter had me laughing pretty bad and was such a delight to read I can't wait enough for more!


Verdict: Buy it


A Kingdom of Quarts Volume 1 from Kodansha USA is now digitally, the physical version of this title will be available at all Retailers February 27th, 2024

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I'm glad Kodansha USA picked this one up for an English release and kept the localization true to the author's original intent”


Isn’t the author Canadian? They don’t even credit a translator here because the original version is in English - the Japanese version is the one translated from the original.

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