Sorceline travels to the Isle of Vorn to study cryptids under the tutelage of Professor Archibald Balzar alongside four other students. Sorceline quickly starts connecting with her fellow students, some more positively than others. In fact, Tara seems determined to outshine everyone, even going so far as to steal answers from Sorceline and present them as her own. During the first session, an unconscious and dehydrated gorgon is discovered and must be cared for. Unfortunately, Sorceline’s classmates start disappearing and the only clue left behind is a pile of glass. At the same time, Sorceline and her friends find some pixies that are acting like zombies and think they might be related to the disappearances. 

Over the course of the story, the friends find some answers but many more questions. They must piece together what they know and separate the information to discover the cause before they all disappear. 

Set in a fantasy world, there are multiple mysteries woven together with lots of visual clues for readers to discover as they try to solve it along with the characters. Each new thread introduces a bit of the world or adds to a character. I liked how the author brought in real world examples of animal behavior when building the mystery around the cryptids. 

The illustrations have an overall dark, cool palette that gives depth to the ethereal nature of the island and its mythical creatures, while adding a bit of terror sprinkled throughout by utilizing swatches of light color to draw attention to important moments.  

This is clearly the start of a series, as it ends on a cliffhanger. It would be an excellent series addition to any library with a middle grade patron population that enjoys magical schools, mythical animals, or a layered mystery. Although there is no violence on the page, please be aware that several children go missing and death is discussed. 

Sorceline, Vol. 1
By Sylvia Douye
Art by Paola Antista
Andrews McNeel, 2022
ISBN: 9781524871314

Publisher Age Rating: 9-12

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)
Creator Representation:  Italian

  • Liz

    Reviewer

    Assistant Professor | she/her

    Elizabeth Hollendonner is an Assistant Professor for Staley Library at Millikin University. She has been reading and enjoying graphic novels and manga since grade school, took a comics class under Dr. Carol Tilley and a book review class under Dr. Deborah Stevenson while earning her Master of Science in Library and Information Science degree.

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