Saturday, March 5, 2011

Graphic Novel Review - Legends: The Enchanted by Nick Percival (5/5 stars)

Legends: The EnchantedReading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Horror/Steampunk
Size: 120 pages
Publisher: Radical Publishing
Release Date: August 3, 2010
ISBN-13:  978-1935417071
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5 stars


I picked this up on a whim in the used book portion of the Barnes and Noble near us.  The artwork in here took my breath away and I decided I had to buy it.  I am so happy I did, I really really enjoyed this graphic novel.  The artwork is wonderful, the story is dark and clever.

This book details the story of the Enchanted.  The Enchanted are fairy tale characters we know and love that have been pitted into a dark and dangerous battle with an evil Hag and her abomination of a son, a gigantic troll from under the Bridge.  The Enchanted include: Jack the Giant Killer, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Bear...among others.

I cannot gush enough about the artwork in this book. It is just absolutely fantastic, when I first saw it it stunned me with its darkness and its beauty.  The artwork is dark, more in the vein of horror than fantasy.  The monsters are built from a montage of flesh and clockwork and gears.  The heroes are darkly beautiful and definitely deadly.  It was just wonderful.

Then imagine my surprise when the story was just as fantastic.  The characters are from fairy tales, but they are from an alternate version where things are much more brutal and much darker.  Red riding hood kicks butt with two deadly sickles and a blood red cloak enfolding her armor; Gretel uses her mental powers to walk the nightmarish landscapes of monsters' minds, Jack has a bean for every power and purpose.  The way the fairy tale characters are thrown together is clever and wonderful.  I loved how Percival worked so many fairy tale references into this story.

It is a complete story in this one graphic novel; although it would be fabulous to see more stories set in this world in the future.  This is definitely an adult book; the imagery is just too disturbing and scary for kids.  It is gory, there is torture, killing, and sexual definitely for adults only.

I did have one problem with this book; it was just too short.  Realistically Percival could have made a graphic novel featuring each of these fantastic characters and drawn the story out to many more novels.  It would have been wonderful to have room for more details and more character development.  That being said he did a great job with filling out the characters with the space he had; I just wanted more and saw a lot bigger potential for story here.

Overall a fantastically dark graphic novel that plunges the reader into a steampunk inspired world of horror where familiar fairy tale heroes feature.  I loved this book, it is a keeper and will remain a cherished part of my graphic novel collection.  I am really looking forward to any other future works that Percival does and would absolutely love to see more stories set in the Legends world.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges::
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Get Steampunked!

- Graphic Novels Challenge List

Legends: The Enchanted 

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