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Monday, March 9, 2009

Fables III & IV

Fables III:Storybook Love & Fables IV:March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham
Reason for Reading: Graphic Novel Challenge
Rating: 4.5/5

I recently got my library card set up at another county library system for the specific reason that they have the full Fables and Sandman series (why libraries don't buy an entire set of graphic novels I will never understand!). So I got to read Storybook Love and March of the Wooden Soldiers. Check out my review of Fables I and Fables II, which is an urban fantasy imaging that the fairy-tale characters of old have all relocated to New York.

Storybook Love is an interesting title for the first book. Through a series of events put into place when a mundane ("mundy") journalist reveals that he knows the secrets of Fabletown and is prepared to publish, Snow (i.e. Snow White) and Bigby (i.e. the Big Bad Wolf, or Fabletown's sheriff) end up spending some quality time together fighting for their life against a homocidal Goldilocks. From the first book, we know that there is some passion hiding beneath the surface, but things don't end up with a happily ever after, not at this point any how. The issue includes what was to me a shocking death, and some entertaining stories about that reckless knave, Jack.

In March of the Wooden Soldiers we learn more about the Adversary who caused the exile of all the Fables. Boy Blue talks tells Snow about love and loss during the last days of the battle. The sudden reappearance of a fable in New York claiming to have narrowly escaped from the Adversary causes suspicion for Snow and Bigby and jubilation for most everyone else. Prince Charming, who is a complete cad, begins to redeem himself in these two novels.

Should I read it? Do you like fantasy? Then absolutely. This series is a great introduction to graphic novels.


Anonymous said...

These are great novels. I've read up to III and I have IV on my shelf waiting to be read. This is a great series and I'm looking forward to see how they end.

Aaron said...

I've always loved the Fables books. So imaginative and fun, while still being mature and edgy (sometimes too edgy, taking similar liberties with what they apparently think we need to see as the Watchmen film did, only on a less extreme scale. Moving on...).

I also love how well-researched these books are. For those who grew up learning their fairy tales from Disney, you'll find little to recognize here. These represent the real fairy tales and nursery rhymes, as originally told before they were Disney-ized, and include references to many stories that old Walt wouldn't have touched with a ten foot pole. They're all so intricately woven together, and the whole saga is part mystery, part epic adventure, part soap opera -- and all Fable.

Sorry...stepping out of tack-on-another-review-to-your-review mode... :-)

Rhinoa said...

You are up to the same point I am now. I really must spend a weekend getting up to date. Can you imagine, a whole weekend of Fables, bliss :)

Debi said...

I couldn't agree with you more about libraries...our library system has the first and the fourth of the Fables series...what the hell is the point of that?!!

Nymeth said...

It's really frustrating that libraries don't carry entire series, I agree.

I'm glad you enjoyed these two! It gets even better, imo.

Kim L said...

thatsthebook-me too! I want to know who the Adversary is and whether Snow and Bigby get together. Man I need to get more of these from the library.

Aaron-you've pointed out exactly what I really enjoy about this series. These are the fairy-tales, pre-Disney, pre-sanitization. Sometimes evil witches eat little children. I think Willingham really gets the fairy tales, how they express human fears and hopes so well. I also like how he takes conventions of particular genres and incorporates the characters into them to give it his own spin.

Rhinoa-that would be bliss! I love those books.

debi-no kidding! And the sucky part is that the library that has them is closing for renovations so I have to figure out a new game plan.

nymeth-awesome! I'm looking forward to reading more in the near future.