The Barrow — Set in the World of Artesia

Out tomorrow is a treat for fantasy fans — The Barrow by Mark Smylie is a novel set in the world of his Artesia comics. It’s an unusual path, that normally moves the opposite way, but Smylie’s magical world ran from comics to graphic novels to an award-winning role-playing game to now prose.

It’s quite the deep dive, too, at 600 pages. The structure is such that you don’t need to be familiar with the comics to enjoy the book — they’re set in the same world, and I’m told that Artesia briefly appears, but it’s about her brother and other characters instead. (I haven’t read it — I prefer my fantasy illustrated.) A gang of fighters is following a map in order to retrieve a legendary sword from a wizard’s barrow. Given the sex and violence, it’s for mature readers.

You can find out more at the book’s website. (The publisher provided an advance review copy.)

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