The Adventures of Young Det is billed as the story of “two adventure-loving boys who set out on an epic quest to slay a fearsome dragon that threatens their world.” Presumably, at some point it will be just that, but this first volume serves as a prologue, focusing on the relationship between a powerful human sorcerer named Lazarus and the lovely Ferat, chief of a race of prophets.
Lazarus, as we first meet him, is extremely talented and he knows it. Initially unimpressed with the Ferat, his admiration for her grows when he realizes her magical abilities exceed his own. Eventually the two strike up an agreement to teach the other their styles of magic. Unbeknownst to Lazarus, the Ferat is also keeping an eye on him because of a prophetic vision that indicates he will have something to do with the summoning of the dragon some eighty years hence.
Many in-depth conversations about the universe’s magic system follow and it’s to Kwon’s credit that these scenes manage to be more about the characters than magical mechanics. Lazarus palpably changes as a result of these lessons, and his growing feelings for the Ferat evolve quite naturally. Occasionally these discussions can get a bit wordy, and there are a lot of terms to get straight as well, but on the whole they’re perfectly comprehensible and don’t drag down the narrative.
Quite a few intriguing questions are left at the end of this volume, and I get the overall sense that Kwon has plotted this tale very carefully. Will Lazarus actually be responsible for summoning the dragon? Will the Ferat and her home really disappear as some visions have indicated? Will the story continue to be as enjoyable when it actually gets to the epic questing?
With beautiful art and a well-crafted story, The Adventures of Young Det gets off to a very good start in this volume. I look forward to reading more.
The Adventures of Young Det is published by NETCOMICS and is available online as well as in a print edition. There are four volumes so far, though only one is currently available on the site. New chapters are added according to this handy schedule.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.