Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: Thieves & Kings

Thieves & Kings Volume One, The Red Book
by Mark Oakley
I Box Pub (1998), Edition: 2, Paperback, 154 pages

Thieves & Kings volume one contains the first six issues of the series.
The events are set in a land called Oceansend, the capital city is Highborn, I suppose during the sixteenth century.
Rubel, the main character, is a young thief escaping from soldiers and other elder people. Thief with the meaning also as paladin of some important ideal.
Rubel has a friend and companion: his imp, a small devil. At the beginning of the third chapter they explain what an imp is.
The other characters are: Katara, the princess; Kangar, her brother; and the Shadow Lady of the Sleeping Wood.

Rubel helps Katara to find the crown, the king had hidden it previously, and so begins the friendship between a thief and a princess.
After four years of navigation, Rubel comes back wanting to meet again the princess. Is Rubel willing to meet the princess at the end? Maybe after a lot of troubled events, and many runs on the roofs.

This graphic novel is different from the usual because there are traditional drawings and many parts of prose; the best of the novel are the last one.
The drawings about buildings, ships, and general surroundings are very well done. I liked one in chapter three illustrating a street with the port in the background. Faces’s drawings are less accurate.

‘At the time when they are small and struggle to please their parents and older brothers and older sisters and all the elders in the worlds that they trust or fear ... At that time when they are very young, all mortal souls seek to be pure and good, and by this way they so perceive imperfections upon the world, and they learn to despise that which causes hurt and illness of body and soul. ... with noble heart they go.’ (almost at the end of the novel)

At the end of volume one: Katara meets a Bridge Troll. Who knows the answer of the Troll’s riddle?
‘What glides over water, and rolls over stone, What sits on its haunches and ...?’

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