Known as the Silent Witch because of her ability to cast magic without vocal chants, Monica Everett leaves her secluded station to attend Serendia Academy. But she isn’t attending to learn, she’s there to secretly protect the second prince, Prince Felix Ridill at the behest of her colleague Louis, who was charged by the king to secure the protection. The prince would never suspect Monica as a spy sent to protect him since the reason she learned unchanted magic was to circumvent her inability to speak in front of others due to anxiety.
Shortly after arriving at Serendia Academy, Monica immediately discovers that something is not right. A noble is accused of embezzling from the student council funds, and a chance encounter with the second prince in the gardens ends with a potted plant being thrown at him from a great height. Despite this, Monica manages to make a new friend and get close to the prince to help with the investigation. All this with her cat familiar, Nero at her side.
Being the first volume in a new series, there were some cases of info-dumping exposition, but also new characters were given name and rank placards to help the reader identify the many characters featured in volume one. Luckily, none of these text boxes detract from the illustrations since they are lovely. The use of shading is used well in the absence of color to create plenty of contrast between locations and characters. And there’s lots of little details sprinkled throughout as well to reinforce that these students are nobility.
I personally enjoyed this series opener since it contains both magical school and dark academia tropes. The main character is quite powerful but is so shy that she comes across as a background character instead of a main character that demands attention. The story moves forward quickly for a first volume, answering a couple of questions while introducing plenty of others to keep the reader interested. This would likely do well in any teen collection and especially at any library where patrons are looking for more magical school or dark academia titles. There is also a light novel of the same name.
Secrets of the Silent Witch Vol. 01
By Matsuri Isora
Art by Nanna Fujimi
Yen Press, 2023
Publisher Age Rating: Teen
NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16), Tween (10-13)
Creator Representation: Japanese,