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Monday, April 28, 2008

Fables: Legends in Exile

Author: Bill Willingham
Rating: 5/5
Reason for Reading: Once Upon a Time Challenge

This was my first time reading a graphic novel, and I think I chose a good starting point. This is the opening book for a series of graphic novels about different fairy-tale and fantasy characters living in New York. I heart fairy-tale retellings, and right now I'm really enjoying quick reads, so this was perfect.

Snow White is the deputy mayor of Fabletown, a loose community of fables who've left their homelands because of a terrible invasion. It's already been a bad day, and the news just gets worse when Fabletown's Sheriff informs her that her sister, Rose Red, is missing and presumably dead.

But Bigby Wolf (AKA the Big Bad Wolf), is on the case, and through the twists and turns he follows the clues to the... chilling finale. (Okay I'm being overdramatic, but it's totally the tone of the book.) Along the way, he tangles with Jack (of bean stock fame), Bluebeard, and Snow White herself, who proves herself to be a feisty, self-controlled heroine even as faces the possibility that she might never see her sister again.

I absolutely loved this book! I loved the way Bill Willingham cleverly interconnected all of the fables in a modern day setting. Prince Charming is a perfect cad and Snow White has by now left him long in the dust. Bigby, able to take on human form, is the tortured hero with a past. There were even more characters I'm sure I'll get to learn more about in the next books of the series.

I've read great reviews of these books by Andi, Chris, Rhinoa, and had it recommended by graphic-novel-pushing friend Aaron, and now you've heard it from me... this is a series definitely worth your time!


mariel said...

Ahh, on Rhinoa's recommendation, I popped into the local forbidden planet, but they only had volumes 4 onwards! So I've ordered it off the good old internet and it should be arriving soon!! Can't wait. I love the originality of this idea, and imagine it could only really work in graphic novel format. Yet another recommendation, this must be good!

Chris said...

Yay Kim! So glad you read and liked it! I'm trying to track down Volume 2 right now, but no luck so far in the bookstores. Looks like I may have to order it. Wasn't it great? One of the best GNs I've read in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Great review, this sounds like an amazing book! I'm definately going to have to hunt this one down. I just got into graphic novels myself this year and I've enjoy most of what I've read. And if the cover art is any indication as to how great the novel is I know I'll be in for a treat.

Nymeth said...

You definitely did choose a good starting point. This is such a great series. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Trish said...

Fabulous! I haven't read a graphic novel either, but this sounds like the perfect place to start. Thanks for the recommendation.

Debi said...

I've got this one on my graphic novels challenge list. Everyone seems to love this one, and it does sound fabulous...I really ought to get to it soon!

Aaron said...

"Graphic-novel-pushing," eh?

Uh...thanks? :-)

Glad you enjoyed it, though. Fables is surprisingly "adult" given the source material. Lots of fun.

Rhinoa said...

I am really glad you enjoyed your first foray into graphic novels. I have only read the first two in this series but will definitely be reading at least books 3 and 4 this year and whatever else I can fit in. It's lovely to see people ignoring the steortypes and giving comics a go.

Kim L said...

mariel-yeah, neither my library nor the other nearby one that I still posess a library card too have the entire collection. I may have to order a few online. They are good books!

chris-I really liked this one! I luckily can get volume two at my library, but after that I have to probably buy at least some of them if I want to read them.

thatsthebook-I thought the art was great in this one! I enjoyed it quite a bit. Definitely different from my usual reads in some ways, but in other ways, it fits nicely since I like fairy-tale retellings.

nymeth-good now I'm hooked though and that will mean spending money at some point.

trish-yes, i would definitely recommend this one if you haven't read graphic novels before because it isn't superheroes, its a fun fantasy retelling.

debi-I bet you'll love it too!

aaron-I mean "graphic-novel-pushing" in the nicest way possible. I'm a sci-fi-pusher and LOTR-pusher myself. You should definitely take it as a compliment because your recommendation is what motivated me to pick up a graphic novel. And I even told the hubby he will have to stop by the Ramsey County library on graphic novel runs.

rhinoa-yeah, I'm definitely not your traditional comic reader, but I really enjoyed that one. I hope it is the beginning of many more :-)

Andi said...

Yay yay yay! It's always good to see someone else come over to the dark side. lol I actually had a student from Germany e-mail me over the weekend. She wants to use my Master's thesis in the research she's doing with Fables. Fun!

Kim L said...

andi-that is very cool that she is doing research into a comic book series! And very flattering that she wanted to use your master's thesis. :-)