Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tower of Treasure

Three Thieves (Book One)
Scott Chantler

In the first graphic novel in a new series of books, Scott Chantler (creator of the acclaimed Northwest Passage) introduces readers to the three thieves the series is named for.  Dessa Redd is the main character of this title, an acrobatic orphan whose snatches of memories hint at dark moments from her past.  She's a very likable protagonist, walking that fine line of being a good girl and getting into mischief, traveling with the circus that raised her.  But she succumbs to the tempting arguments her friends make, especially when she finds herself in a dire situation, and joins them as they attempt to rob a tower of treasure, where the queen's gold is kept - piles of it, despite the many peasants starving in the streets of the kingdom.  The other two thieves rounding out the trio are Topper, a juggler, the instigator of the scheme, who loves bragging about his thieving skills, and Fisk, a strongman who tags along with a childlike innocence.  I actually really enjoyed this story.  The art is very cinematic, clean and easy to follow, especially during action sequences.  The coloring also stands out, particularly when it comes to the lighting and shading of scenes, whether it be by torchlight, or underwater.  The events in the story can get a little silly, but it's all in good fun, and keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace.  There's a good amount of humor injected into the story as well, and enough of a mystery to keep things interesting, with secondary characters who haven't quite come into their own at this point, but it's apparent that they play a bigger role in the series at large.  Chantler does an excellent job of establishing a medieval world full of castles and knights, and it's just an overall fun all-ages adventure story.

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