In Principles of Magic by Sarah Hopkins, a fourteen-year-old named Avery Marsh arrives at Signet, a school for girls who manifest magical abilities. But unlike certain other magical schools, this one isn’t aimed towards teaching kids how to spellcast… it’s geared towards suppressing supernatural talents, instead!

Us Against the Signet

Soon after Avery arrives at Signet, she meets Miss Page, an unpleasant authority figure who gives her a room assignment.

Fortunately, the two students who Avery will be rooming with quickly warm up to the new arrival. First is Penegrine “Pepper” Vanguard, who continues to use her magic abilities in spite of the fact that those in charge have forbidden their use. The second is Charlotte “Charlie” Evans, who is Deaf and uses ASL to communicate (denoted through a change in the shape of the word balloons).

But while Avery’s roommates may be cool, the lessons taught at Signet are anything but. As classes begin, it becomes clear that the purpose of Signet is not to foster greater magical ability, but rather to suppress the supernatural abilities displayed by the students.

Naturally, this isn’t a very pleasant philosophy, and the repressed will always return, so it probably isn’t a very effective strategy, either. Furthermore, Principles of Magic doesn’t shy away from depicting the corporal punishment used to retaliate against those who would utilizing their magic – but while this may not exactly be a fun page of the comic, it’s necessary in order to fully explore the thematic concerns centered by the story.

Principles of Magic

With over 150 pages already posted, now is the ideal time to catch up with Principles of Magic!

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