- Posted by Johanna on October 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Scott Chantler
- PUBLISHER: Kids Can Press; $8.95 US
Scott Chantler (Northwest Passage) created this all-ages fantasy adventure, first in the “Three Thieves” series.
The thieves are Dessa, a teen acrobat with a traveling show who’s seeking her lost brother; Topper, a juggler from a blue, troll-like race; and Fisk, the big purple strongman. Dessa’s found a makeshift family in her troupe of entertainers, but she’s not thrilled with how they make their money. While she performs, her fellow travelers pick the pockets of those distracted by her high-rope act.
The art is lovely, beautifully colored, and building a fully thought-through medieval-flavored world. The royal city has its own problems, with times worse than they used to be. Dessa’s got an innocent charm even while she’s clearly aware of what’s going on around her and the compromises she’s making to find her missing twin. The three seek gold from breaking into the queen’s treasury, but first they must get past the booby traps.
Chantler’s clean art is easy to read but with a disarming level of skill behind it. There’s plenty of action, with dynamic illustrations, but not too much suspense. The story isn’t about being scared, but about figuring out what happens next, both for Dessa and the reader. The queen is greedy, her chamberlain engaged in mysterious villainy, but at least there’s an honorable guardsman to assist the three, if they can convince him they’re more than what they seem. So is he.
Dessa’s feats of acrobatics can be unbelievable, but that’s all part of the setting, with a nail-biting escape that leads into the forthcoming second volume. It reminded me of Thieves & Kings or Rapunzel’s Revenge. This book is available now through Amazon (link above), or it can be ordered through comic shops for delivery in December with code OCT10 1051. There’s a brief preview at the publisher’s website. (The publisher provided a review copy.)