Fairest, Vol. 3: The Return of the Maharaja by Bill Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This volume of Fairest is quite different. The lead isn't even a princess. But she is a Warrior Queen in her own right. Nalayani undertakes a dangerous mission to seek help from the Maharajah to save her village from man-eating monsters and encounters a dispossessed Prince from the Land of the Fables, the one and same Prince Charming. Ever the opportunist, Charming takes advantage of his exit from Fabletown, after making an enormous sacrifice in the war against the Adversary. Nalayani isn't his typical conquest (seducing Princesses is after all his niche). Instead, she's a fierce young woman who is passionate about saving her village. The question is, Can she get Charming to believe in doing the right thing in the end, before it's too late?
I don't know if I was just in a weird mood, but this volume was creepy to me. I think it was the dhole monsters and the awful situation that Nalayani was facing (and later on Charming). It has a very different feel from the first two volumes, but in a good way. A look at a very different culture from what we typically see in the Fables books. I really liked Nalayani. While Charming shows all of his bad traits in spades, I still came to respect him for what he is. He's like any real life person, flawed, just like I am.
I read this one in the right place with my reading of the Fables series, but I would consider this one as having spoilers for Volume 12 of Fables,War and Pieces, so reader be warned.
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