Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sword and Sorcery, Volume 1: Amethyst by Christy Marx, Aaron Lopresti (Illustrations), Various (Illustrations)

Sword of Sorcery, Vol. 1: AmethystSword of Sorcery, Vol. 1: Amethyst by Christy Marx
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that the cover made me pass this by a few times because the cover looks like a Barbie-theme graphic novel. Don't get me wrong. I went through a huge Barbie doll phase. I still have a collection of Barbie dolls. But I never got into the Barbie merchandise and have no desire to read a Barbie graphic novel or watch a Barbie movie. I really wish the cover wasn't so bubble gum-looking.

Nevertheless, I decided to check this out. It's actually not bad. It's definitely sword and sorcery. I like the genre, and I think it was done quite well. The whole idea of Amethyst as a seventeen-year-old who comes into her heritage as a powerful princess of another kingdom is pretty cool. I like that each kingdom represents a different precious gem. However, one of my issues with the way Amethyst is drawn is Amy looks like just her mother and aunt. It was only possible to tell them apart based on what they were wearing. I think there was more variation in the other kingdoms, thankfully. While I wasn't loving the whole Barbie verisimilitude, the action and magic was actually pretty cool.

Talking about strange bedfellows. Amethyst is paired with Beowulf and Stalker, which are both very violent and more male-oriented sword and sorcery tales. It was a bit of a rough transition, probably moreso for readers who don't jump back and forth between male and female-oriented fiction.

Beowulf was kind of a cool update on the old tale. Instead of it being the original Beowulf, it's about a genetically engineered warrior of the same name, created by the Basilisk (who I know about from reading The Suicide Squad series). There is a link between Grendel and Beowulf because of Basilisk. Beowulf isn't strictly likable, but he definitely is good at killing monsters. I would read more of these stories.

Stalker is about an ancient warrior king who makes an unwise deal with Lucifer that comes back to bite him in the rear. He goes on a mission to get revenge in return. It was the darkest story. Readers who like horror action will enjoy it.

Overall, pretty good. If the cover makes you want to avoid it, I say give this a try.

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