REVIEW: ‘Dragon and Ceremony’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dragon and ceremony - But Why Tho

Fantasy adventure story Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2: The Passing of the Witch is a light novel written by Ichimei Tsukushi, illustrated by Enji, and translated into English by Jordan Taylor. Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2 is published in English by Yen On, a division of Yen Press. This story picks up after the events of Dragon and Ceremony Volume 1: From a Wandmaker’s Perspective, exploring the further adventures of apprentice wandmaker Ix and holder of the most powerful magic wand, Yuui.

Another one of Munzil’s apprentices, Layumatah, asks Ix to investigate rumors of a witch that may have caused the wand wall (the magical defense system) around the capital to come undone. Ix teams up with Yuui, and her classmate Nova, to figure out if the witch exists and, if she does, what she knows about the wand wall.

As a concept, it’s just okay. Tsukushi is trying to expand the world of Dragon and Ceremony by introducing new characters, such as Nova, Giddens, and Camilla, and explaining new legends such as the witch. But I would have much rather learned more about Yuui’s experiences. In volume 1, Tsukushi wrote about this world’s issues with concepts like xenophobia and colonialism, especially how they affected Yuui, who is a political prisoner. Going from that to talking about a legend about a witch is a bit of a narrative downgrade.

The new characters are not enough to save the story. Despite being part of the story from the beginning, I often forgot that Nova was there. She leaves little impression on the story and the reader. Her presence feels completely unnecessary until the book is almost over. Because Nova has no characterization aside from being quiet, she doesn’t undergo any character development. And it’s a shame because it would’ve been great to see Yuui make a friend that wasn’t Ix and learn more about the world of Dragon and Ceremony from a new perspective.

Side characters that fall flat are something that was an issue in volume 1 as well. Yuui’s classmates were supposedly important, but they barely had personalities. Instead of creating Nova and giving her the personality of a beige wall, Tsukushi could have brought back the trio of classmates from volume 1. Camilla is the only new character who makes a lasting impression. And she doesn’t even show up until the story is at the halfway point.

Another issue with Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2 is poor pacing. The plot takes a while to pick up before stalling again and finally rushing towards an unsatisfying ending. Tsukushi mentions details that appear important, only to drop them completely or only mention them again as an afterthought.

In an afterword, Tsukushi writes that this volume can be read as a standalone. As can volume 1. And that’s the root of all of my problems with Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2; it doesn’t need to exist, and it never justifies its existence. I’m not opposed to a standalone being turned into a series. Especially if I enjoyed the standalone. Because I enjoyed volume 1, I went into Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2 expecting to enjoy it, only to be let down.

Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2 is a lackluster story that tries to expand the world-building but fails to recreate the magic and depth of the first volume.

Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2 is available now wherever books are sold.


Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2
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TL;DR

Dragon and Ceremony Volume 2 is a lackluster story that tries to expand the world-building but fails to recreate the magic and depth of the first volume.