Let me start by saying this : CAN I GET AN AMEN FOR THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL? Holy! I have never fell this much in love with a graphic novel before. For those of you who followed me these past few years, you know how I’m a sucker for anything Dark Fantasy genre from magical creatures to wizards and demons. And damn, Montress has delivered it!
In the 1900s, of an alternate universe Asia, a steampunk fantasy wise atmosphere frame the lifelong journey of our protagonist Maika Halfwolf, a teenage girl (often pissed off) who looks for answers about her mother’s disappearance and possibly murder. From the start, the Volume 1 has A LOT of things going on and so I will try to be brief and not spoil anything.
Maika Halfwolf is what we would call an Arcanic, born of a race directly descended from the union of humans and Ancients, the old gods that once populated the world. Needless to say that the Ancients were extremely powerful (magic and so on). What’s particular with Maika , however, is that her Arcanic side is more wicked and dark. All about infernal hungers and demons. Her actions has set in motion the vehicle of war. Aside of that, I love when the stories bring out social issues in a fantasy twist. The injustice and even slavery some creatures endure in this graphic novel is very poignant.
The side characters are lovely and I definitely got attached to them, from Kippa to Master Ren (a cat with an attitude). Artistic wise, the Japanese illustrator Sana Takeda made an impressive job. I think it’s by far the most beautiful graphic novel I’ve ever read. Every character get introduced by their costumes and each costume represents the character’s role in the story. I would cosplay all of them if I could to be honest.
I was so obsessed with the first volume that I had to get the second volume right away, and I was not disappointed. The path Maika is taking in the second volume reveals more than her ancestry and test the limits of all the friendships she will form.
Rating : 5/5
Have you heard about this graphic novel? Did you read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it!
Big thank you to Image Comics for these fantastic copies!