Note: These light novel first impressions come courtesy of J-Novel Club‘s membership program, which allows members to read weekly parts of light novels as they are translated, before their official e-book release. These impressions cover the first 2 parts of volume 1.l
Lina Inverse is a young sorceress who decided to raid some bandits for some treasure. Hey, nothing wrong with stealing from thieves, right? Except naturally, said thieves don’t take her counter-banditry lying down, and it’s only with the help of the handsome-but-somewhat-dim-witted swordsman Gourry that she escapes them alive. Things only go from bad to worse when even more dangerous folks go after Lina’s treasure, given that one of them might resurrect a powerful Demon Lord…
So having gotten into anime more towards the 2010s, I admittedly have never seen the Slayers anime. Nevertheless, I knew it was a well-known classic, both for anime and for light novels, so I was definitely interested in reading it when J-Novel Club announced they had picked it up recently. And upon reading it, I must say, I am pleasantly surprised with how… familiar it feels. From its spunky protagonist who narrates with lots of snark to its fantasy plot full of all of the usual swords, sorcery, and demon lords, it feels like it fits right in with all the modern fantasy light novels. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, either; if anything, it just means even modern light novel fans should have no problem getting into this classic novel. It’s a lot of fun, and definitely worth checking out both for a slice of light novel history and also for an enjoyable fantasy romp.
Here is the series page for Slayers, where you can read the first part for free. Pre-orders for Vol. 1 are not up yet but when they do go up, pre-order links can be found on that page too.