Seth Hahne's Reviews > Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

Mouse Guard by David Petersen
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Oct 28, 09

bookshelves: comics
Read in September, 2009, read count: 3

David Petersen's Mouseguard is a so-far-incredible series that pits medieval mice against both their common predators (snakes, owls, weasels, etc.) and their own kind. As the series is yet to be completed, it's hard to judge how well the series-as-whole will hold up—but if Petersen continues to show the kind of storytelling attention and illustrator's care that we see in the first two volumes, the final result will be worthwhile indeed.

With Fall 1152, Petersen introduces a world within (presumably) our world and goes beyond the realistic animal-fantasy honed in Richard Adams' Watership Down . Instead, this is a world in which mice have fostered a civilization, have made strides in both industry and academia. These mice boast metallurgy, pharmacy, architecture, libraries, cartography, and that hallmark of all the greatest civilizations, intrigue. There are castles and dungeons and cities hidden within trees. Wars and rumours of wars.

(It is as yet unclear which other animals possess such social evolutions but at the least, we know that the weasels also use armour and weaponry.)

Petersen spends much of the first volume introducing us to both his world and his characters (primarily, a trio of mice warriors, members of the vaunted mouseguard, whose purpose is to protect the commoner keeping the roads safe and keep peace between the very different (and fairly isolated) towns. Because so much of the volume is taken up with story-setting and world-building, it takes a little while for the main story to really get rolling. Once it does, however, Petersen's attention to his characters and their motivations and abilities is pushed even farther to the fore.

Fall 1152 is a good introduction to what I hope will be a fantastic journey. The art and characterization is top-notch and the volume's only deficit is that its story does not seem quite full enough. This issue is of course resolved by the following volumes (if the second is anything to judge by) and the story continues to build there.
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