My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Spell of Desire 1-5 (full series)
Triggers: Sex, attempted sexual assault (due to her magic being out of control), jealous man (who means well but apologizes and it is genuine), nudity, eye candy / fan service (but relevant to the story).
Sweet, sexy, angsty romance with a supernatural urban fantasy and classic fantasy vibe. Excellent art, character development and plot. Amazing dialogue. Mature audience. Has cute furry familiars that turn into big scary beasts. This would make a great live action movie or series. I think it would come across as a hentai more than ecchi if animated.
This one is amazing. The first book is alright. It starts as a typical romance until the amazing plot twists and feelings develop. Overall it has a fairytale feeling in the later 3 books. It feels like snow white awakens with the queen’s power and a little red riding hood influence.
The usually Japanese stereotype tropes of virgin girls and proper ladies does run as a theme until around book 3. There is nudity, intense romance and yep lots of sex!
You really have to look at this one as a series and not just one book. The first book is an okay introduction. Its interesting but leaves you wanting more as it seems like a typical romance story. It picks up well in book 2 and especially 3. We are used to trilogy novels in North America but from my experience manga tends to have five books. They pacing is excellent. The information and lore in the whole series delivered smoothly. It is not overwhelming or confusing. The story connects well with the art and the reader. The action and romance/love scenes are beautiful. The dialogue is only slightly cheesy (all romance needs a heavy dose of feminine cheese) and actually very heart warming. The romance that blooms is believable and well paced.
My only complaint is that sometimes it’s hard to tell if the dialogue is a thought or verbal dialogue and who is having the thought, especially around love scenes however I believe this is intentional during some scenes. It seems their thoughts become more and more in synch as the plot and romance develop. This may also be a translation/typeset issue.
The characters turn from stereotypes in Vol 1 to deep, complex characters with feelings, fears, needs and personalities. You want to root for their right to love and freedom. I couldn’t put this one down. The side deuteragonists are a bit flat but do have great plot twists tied to them. If the title of that one chapter didn’t say, “A Trap” I would have been more surprised lol.
Synopsis of the series:
Kaoruko (Koko) is an an uptight country girl that runs a herb shop was home schooled and raised by her grandmother. Unknowingly she grew up with training to be a white witch (Nature and healing powers). Her grandmother dies.
Two years later a strange, handsome man in black visits with a cat and a puppy as her power begins to bloom. Kaname is obnoxious and seductive. At first Koko doesn’t believe him when he explains about witches and that her mother she never knew is the Queen of Black Witches (the Witch Queen).
Koko learns that she possesses her mother’s overwhelming power and cannot control it. Her body burns with lust and it calls demons, animals and people to her whenever her emotions get out of control.
The only thing that can calm the raging power within her from affecting those around her is directing her emotions towards the Witch Queen’s head knight and protector, Kaname. Koko’s charms are so strong they even possess Kaname who is warded against most magic. Does Koko posses a power of her own and is it enough to rival the darkness of her inherited Black Magic with her White Witch upbringing.
White Witches ask nature to help them as their magic is based on friendship and kindness. Black Witches take what they want, their magic relying on greed and power. In order to protect the man she is falling in love with, Kaoruko agrees to become a Black Witch but can she control the dark power within her? What will she do when her mother returns from self-exile? Will Kaname betray his oaths as the Witch Queen’s head Knight?
A Black Witch whom has White Witch seals in her mind (to reject the ideas of Black Magic) can only awaken their power through intense sexual experiences and rejecting everything they hold dear. Her mother did the same thing, turning from White to Black Magic. Can the innocent, pure, virginal Koko go through with such a thing for the sake of unrequited love. Will Kaname ever love her as she loves him and will he ever be free of the Black Queen’s ownership of his body and soul?
Most importantly will Kaoruko/Koko lose herself to the Black Magic?