I stumbled upon this fabulous series at my local comic book shop, and as soon as I scanned the first few pages (in order to make certain I liked the art and writing styles), I was enthralled. This lusciously illustrated series centers around an exiled community of fairy tale characters, some of whom currently reside in a community in the middle of New York City and others who live on a farm outside of the city. I immediately fell in love with the characters, who were all cleverly reimagined versions of their traditional counterparts: a serial monogamist Prince Charming who mooches off of his subsequent wives and girlfriends, a Big Bad Wolf turned gruff detective, and so on. These are no mere fairytale archetypes; each character has a very distinct personality that both expands upon and surpasses their original folkloric figure. And as the series progresses, the characters all gain a satisfying depth along with the expected growth of their roles in the plot.
The plot itself uses reworked traditions, with a theme of dark versus light, (complete with an evil overlord known as the Adversary). Matters become slightly more complicated than the typical fantasy novel as several intense subplots are added into the mix. I won’t say anything more on the matter of plot, because I don’t want to reveal too much!
I want to make it clear that these books are definitely not intended for younger readers! Mature older teens would be able to appreciate the complexities of the series, but I would be leery of a younger high school student reading it. As the plot grows more intense, so does the bloodshed, and there are references to rape in some of the later books. However, if you’re the sort of reader who enjoys gorgeous illustrations, a twisting plot, and a gritty yet beautiful writing style, I’d definitely suggest you give it a try!
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