I'm gonna hold off on reviewing this. For some reason, I thought I could pick this up without having read the rest of the series. I felt so lost readiI'm gonna hold off on reviewing this. For some reason, I thought I could pick this up without having read the rest of the series. I felt so lost reading through this. Hopefully reading earlier volumes will make more sense....more
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Okay, I will say I honestly picked this up because it had Minsc on the I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Okay, I will say I honestly picked this up because it had Minsc on the cover. I played both Baldur's Gate games when they first came out and adored Minsc. So the idea of a comic starring him was exciting. Unfortunately, this mostly seemed like a rehash of some of Minsc's best lines from the games. There was no character development for any of the main characters. I had trouble understanding why they even came together beyond mutual need to avoid the city guard and the Flaming Fist. The story moves along far too quickly - I remember the city of Baldur's Gate taking such a long time to explore, and you never get a good sense of the size or scope of it in this book. And for as serious as it takes itself, this book seems to miss some basic D&D aspects. I'll pick on Minsc, since I love him so. He is a ranger. He's referred to throughout the story as the Beloved Ranger. But he's treated as a fighter in this, and drawn as some sort of hulking giant. Okay, I remember him being a lousy ranger in the game. He was terrible at sneaking. I regularly threw him into the fighter role. But it wasn't what he was built for. And he certain,y isn't playing the ranger role in this book. And I guess that leads me to my last point... I don't know who this book is intended for. Is it for those of us who've played the game and want to see more of characters we loved? Or to introduce newbies to the characters and hope they pick up the re released game? Or just fans of D&D and Forgotten Realms? There were far too many in-jokes for me to think it will appeal to those who aren't familiar with the series. And the majority of it seems like we've heard it before if we have played the games. I will say the artwork is decent, with several funny panels, particularly when they feature Boo....more
Phoebe and her unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils... do I need to say more than that? Yes? All right. This comic strip collection about the adventurePhoebe and her unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils... do I need to say more than that? Yes? All right. This comic strip collection about the adventures of Phoebe, a young girl, and her unicorn friend, Marigold. Unicorns are the stuff of fairy tales, but also pretty full of themselves and high maintenance. Marigold is, visually, very reminiscent of the unicorn in The Last Unicorn, but considerably more upbeat and worldly. She texts Phoebe with her horn and wears fantastic ninja and Lone Ranger costumes. Phoebe is the daughter of an artist and a gamer, and we get glimpses of pop culture references, like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Portal.
The humor here is fun and charming. There are moments, usually the Sunday strips, where the stories pause to be a bit more sentimental. The colors are soft and very natural - which you may not be expecting given the bright pink, sparkly book cover. Totally a worthwhile read. You can check out the strips online for free, but most of them are in black and white there. ...more
**spoiler alert** I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Clariel. I've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting(!) for this book, as much as an**spoiler alert** I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Clariel. I've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting(!) for this book, as much as any other fan of the Abhorsen series. It was worth the wait. This prequel, set several hundred years before the birth of Sabriel, explores the history of another member of the Abhorsen line, Clariel. For those of us that have read the Abhorsen series, we know her better as Chlorr of the Mask. And while this wasn't the story I was expecting, it was still incredibly enjoyable and fits well into the world of the Old Kingdom.
Clariel is not the most likable of characters, but I sympathized with her and was surprised at how much I cared about her as the story progressed. In a way, she reminded me of Katsa in Graceling, by Kristin Cashore. Clariel isn't like Sabriel or Lirael... she's not comfortable with Charter magic and really doesn't care to learn about it Nor is she a noble figure. She has an exceptional temper and a strong will that will play a part in her undoing. She's been recently uprooted from her home in Estwael and wants nothing more than to leave the city of Belisaere and return to the Great Forest, where she feels most at ease. As her story unfolds, she becomes more desperate to leave Belisaere, making choices that lead her further down a path that will end... well, it'll end with Chlorr.
I enjoyed seeing the Old Kingdom during a more orderly time, though we're also seeing what complacency does to the Kingdom. You get a good does of politics, free magic creatures, and leaders who are content to let their responsibilities slip. We see Belisaere in detail and explore the Abhorsen's house. Mogget plays a pivotal role in Clariel's story, and I enjoyed seeing one of my favorite characters at his worst.
We see Clariel really struggle with her desires and her anger throughout the book. It's so rare, I think, to find a book that has a strong female character who isn't sacrificing herself for others and has this incredible flaw. And by the end, the problem isn't solved or controlled. If you've read the other books in the series, you know that things will, in fact, get much, much worse. And I liked (and hated) seeing an Abhorsen who was wretched at his work. Things are so turned on their head in this book compared to the figures we see in the rest of the series; while this was a bit disorienting at first, I enjoyed the change and grew to appreciate that not every person is cut out to be an Abhorsen, a Charter Mage, or a hero. I think that Nix did an excellent job, particularly with Mogget and Aziminil, at making you realize that these are not sympathetic characters. Or that the act of revenge lives up to the idea.
I was a bit surprised by the ending. That direct connection to Chlorr is not there, but rather hinted at. We know what is to come, but this story really shows you where Clariel starts down that path, not how she gets there. And while I had a problem with that as I finished the book, the more I thought about it, the less I minded it. ...more