- Posted by Johanna on October 4, 2007 at 7:01 am
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by David Petersen
- PUBLISHER: Archaia; $24.95 US
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 is a beautifully illustrated fantasy story by David Petersen about mice soldiers attempting to quash a traitorous plot.
The mouse guard was formed to protect the species against the many predators who want to destroy them. There are a variety of territories, and travel among them requires protection and guides for the traders who must take those paths. When one mouse disappears, three of the best fighters are sent to find out what happened, but their investigation reveals more danger from within their civilization than without.
The mice are adorable but fierce, a tough balance that Petersen maintains through a soft palette and thin but confident line. Their individual personalities combine to make them a fearsome team. (Narnia fans will be reminded of Reepicheep.) It’s the details that sell the tale, as when the mice make camp, curled up in makeshift shelter with weapons at the ready, or when a leaf becomes a boat for coastal travel. The fight scenes are admirably staged, and the animals are realistic (with the addition of their tiny swords and other weapons).
They do more than fight; they must be observant, tracking and piecing together clues to determine what happened to those they aim to protect. Their investigations are hampered by natural predators, like snakes and crabs, but more often by others of their own kind. Casting mice in a familiar fantasy adventure freshens it for the reader, and Petersen’s art is simply lovely to look at.