The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Enemies of Versailles
by Sally Christie
Series: The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy (#3)
Published
: March 21st 2017 by Atria Books
Genre: historical fiction > France
Pages: 416p
Source: eARC provided via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches inevitable revolution.

Goodreads

I’ve been ill (thanks, brain) and this is much, much later than this review should’ve been posted. Forgive me!

The Enemies of Versailles is masterfully crafted, there is no doubt about that. It’s told in first person by Jeanne Becu (Comtesse du Barry) and Madame Adélaïde (daughter of King Louis XV) in turn. Both of their voices are strong and ring through every word of their narratives. I was enraptured with them both from the beginning – even Adélaïde, which surprised me, since I almost always root for the mistress(es) exclusively in these novels. Adélaïde is a direct antagonist to Jeanne, vying in subtle and later overt ways to oust her from Versailles and keep Jeanne from the king. Madame du Pompadour dies offscreen near the beginning of the novel and this sparks Adélaïde’s crusade against mistresses that carries the plot along.

The beginning was so strong that I lost a few hours and found myself more than a little late to an appointment. The introductions of new characters didn’t always leave it clear who may be important later on. This is less of an issue for a reader who may be coming fresh off of Rivals.

Around halfway, however, I lost the spark. There was a lull in the drama. This, unfortunately for me, coincided with a personal reading slump I was having and suddenly I was reading this book for weeks before I finished it. It wasn’t long after the lull that the story really kicks off again (and I do mean really), and I finished it in a very long night.

When viewing the series as a whole, one gets a scope of just how selfish Louis really is. I don’t think I have ever gone into or come out of a mistress novel thinking that the king was a real stand-up guy. One of my favorite things about this series is that it’s completely unnecessary to read them in order. Each one works as a standalone, which is a marvelous thing. You lose only the king’s overarching plotline this way. Characters overlap in minor ways, if at all, save perhaps Choiseul and Louis himself.

Adélaïde and Jeanne are perhaps the strongest characters of the whole series. They are the voiciest, the most unabashed in their desires, and both of them are pretty witty. I adore this trilogy and the women who have told it. If you’re in the market for a historical fiction series with unique female voices, The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will not steer you wrong.

Disclaimer: A free eARC was provided for review via NetGalley.

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The Wicked + The Divine Volume 2: Fandemonium

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 2: Fandemonium

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 2: Fandemonium
by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrator), Matt Wilson (Colorist), Clayton Cowles
Series: The Wicked + The Divine (Vol. 2)
Published
: July 1st 2015 by Image Comics
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy
Pages: 168p
Source: library borrow
Rating: ★★★.5☆
The second volume of the award-winning urban fantasy series where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. Following the tragic and unjust death of Lucifer, it takes a revelation from Inanna to draw Laura back into the worlds of Gods and Superstardom to try and discover the truth behind a conspiracy to subvert divinity. Includes issues 6-11 of the series, plus supplementary material.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

For those unfamiliar with The Wicked + The Divine series, the basic plotline is this: Every 90 years, a pantheon of gods are reborn into the human world. In the modern day, they are treated as modern pop star celebrities. It features a diverse cast of characters, and follows the human Laura, a fan of the gods who encounters this century’s Lucifer early on.

I started The Wicked + The Divine series in late 2015. I never reviewed it, either here or on my original blog, and my Goodreads review of Volume 1 is simply this:

I do love me some deicide. And hot damn it was beautiful!

Volume Two is no exception to this at all. The Wicked + The Divine is beautifully crafted, with exquisite art and interesting character designs. This series has haunted me ever since I picked up page one. Too often do I read a book, rate it highly, and then forget about it entirely until it’s time to go through what I’ve read for the year for a Top 10 list and go “oh yeah, this book exists.” Not so with TW+TD. I have meant to grab Vol. 2 ever since I flipped the last page of Volume 1 – for whatever reason, I just kept missing it.

If second-volume-sag is a thing, I felt that Vol. 2 definitely was a victim. Maybe I just loved Luci a little too much. Volume 2 focuses on Laura’s desire to find out who framed Luci, and find out she definitely does. The plot was there, it was solid, I just found myself drifting off while reading and going ‘Is this it?’. I was invested in the plot but detached in a bizarre way. Perhaps my memory of Volume 1 and my self-hype meant that Volume 2 couldn’t live up to my expectations –

Until the ending. Holy shit, was that an ending. The writer certainly knows how to keep someone invested in the storyline. Regardless, my apathy toward much (if not all) of the volume leads me to a sad 3.5 star rating for the collection as a whole.

La’Ron Readus did an excellent review of Volume 2 not long before I got my hands on my copy. He enjoyed it far more than I did, and I wonder if that’s to the massive span of time between readings for me. His review goes a bit more into depth on the connections between the volumes, something I can’t do quite as well since it’s been so long since I began the series.

Right now I’m off to pick up Volumes 3 and 4.

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How To Write Sci-Fi and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
by Orson Scott Card
Published: July 15th 1990 by F & W Publications Inc.
Genre: nonfiction
Pages: 137p
Source: library borrow
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Writing for science fiction and fantasy audiences can be the most exciting writing you’ve ever done. Your readers are curious and want you to take them beyond “”The Fields We Know,”” to help them explore the infinite boundaries of the worlds you create.

Here, science fiction great Orson Scott Card shares his expertise in these genres. You’ll learn:

– What is and isn’t science fiction and fantasy, and by whose standards — and where your work fits in.
– How to build, populate, and dramatize a credible, inviting world your readers will want to explore.
– How to use the MICE quotient — milieu, idea, character, event — to structure a successful story.
– Where the markets are and how to reach them to get published.

The knowledge and skills you gain through this book will help you effectively lead your readers into the strangeness you create — one tantalizing step at a time.

Goodreads | I’m not including buy links, sue me.

One particular quote that stands out to me from this book, on page 19:

Human beings also exhibit this love-fear attitude toward strangeness – for instance, we see the fear in racism, the curiosity in the way people slow down to rubberneck as they drive past an accident on the freeway.

Another, related quote from Orson Scott Card:

The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.

[source]

Read more on his disgusting views toward queer people here. Or here. If I had been aware of this revolting attitude, I would not have borrowed this from the library. It wasn’t until I brought it home that my partner said “Oh yeah, that guy can really write. Shame he’s a homophobe.” The thought had never occurred to me. At all. I just enjoyed Ender’s Game, and I was hoping that maybe there would be just one nugget of wisdom in these 140 pages that I hadn’t already read online (spoiler: there’s not).

On the very next page, there is a snide dismissal to genres generally geared towards women and teens. He talks in such a disdainful manner toward people who read the same story over and over again, but says “those of us who don’t enjoy gothics or bodice-rippers or teen romances” might be inventive with our stories. This was red flag number two.

Red flags, possibly flares.

There are 4 specific examples of OSC’s own ideas for stories in the whole of this book. The first is a generic fantasy story, the next is Ender’s Game. Neither are addressed in more than a couple of paragraphs at most. The third (for his novel Hart’s Hope) is the first time any character is described in detail; the first two examples have been largely painted with broad strokes, though this one takes up nearly five full pages:

One sister was staring directly into her twin’s face; after separation, er face would be a blank mask, with no eyes, no real nose, and only a gap for a mouth. The other twin, though, was facing half away, after separation, while one eye was missing and one cheek was a ruin, her profile from the other side would look perfectly normal. Which sister suffered more, the one who would never see how hideous she was[…]? Or the one who, by turning her face just so, could catch a glimpse of how beautiful she and her sister couldhave been and then, bystaring at herself full in the face in the mirror, could see just how hideously deformed she was? [p30]

Example four is equally troubling. It begins with instructing on how to address ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions to build a plot. “Why did John slap Mary across the face?” Over the course of the next full page, OSC delves deep into this psychology. We discover that Mary slapped him first, and that John feels guilty. Then alas, “Even that is too easy.”! “Unconsciously, he’s rather proud of it.” John, we learn, has never hit anyone and gets a big ol’ wank off for his ego because he feels strong. “It […] made him strut a little in his dealings with others.” Then, in his workings out, OSC asserts that  she leaves – or:

Maybe she was raised by a strong father or mother who slapped the family around. Maybe she unconsciously wanted John to act out this physically domineering role, and it wasn’t until she slapped him herself that he actually did what she wanted. […] She stays with him, unconsciously hoping to continue provoking him into violence so she can fear and admire him the way [she feared her parent]. [p35]

Example five is a single paragraph explaining how to handle infodumping about space travel. Example six is on why not to make up words for ideas like ‘bread’ and uses no characters at all. Page 65 gives us our seventh example that uses real characters, this time another pair of sisters who are bitter toward each other over the treatment of an alien species, so one destroys the other’s career only to make up in the desert.

At this point OSC makes a switch to referencing Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed for nearly every example, a work with which I’m not familiar and had little to no clue what the fuck he was on about since I was just expected to know it. Oddly enough, when discussing the difference between “Character Story” and “Event Story” he uses no examples of his own at all and sort of skates over it.

The next real example of his own is more intended to mock early SF than actually instruct. It comes off, as much of this book does, as ‘look how much better we are than these guys who invented this! Ha! Also, fuck Star Trek!’. I’m not counting this.

That makes seven examples. Two of which (the first two) outline SFF heroes in very short order. As much as I would love to punch Ender Wiggin in the face, he is seen as a hero.  Two more are short and include no characters (five and six). That leaves us with three, one of which harps on about a pair of women who are tragic because they’re ugly, one about an abused woman who wants it/deserves it/asked for it, and another about two sisters who fuck each other over and are passingly mentioned to reconcile.

Of five examples involving characters, only three delve into characters that are named at all and each one is a varying type of tragic woman be she catty and selfish, sad because she is disfigured and can never be beautiful, or wants her husband to beat the shit out of her so she provokes him into doing it. The first two examples are more or less glossed over, and Ender is neither described in detail nor is…whoever the first example is about.

There is a common theme here. A troubling theme. I am no big OSC buff – I liked Ender’s Game and it took me two years to get through Xenocide. I can only comment on this text alone, something I wish I had found at the thrift store for a quarter so I could line a hamster’s cage with it.

In Short(er)

This is titled “How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy” but focuses almost entirely on SF. Fantasy is only mentioned in passing, not expanded upon in any aspect like interstellar travel is (in which OSC sneers at the term “warp speed” and anyone who uses it). The entirety of this book is steeped in arrogance and superiority. Every piece of advice is given as “this is how this is done” not “this is how I do this” which is incredibly irritating. If someone wants to call something warp speed, let them. It’s dicking about in space. Calm down. Stop jerking off your own ego.

In short, this is almost entirely useless in the internet age. Everything in these pages can be found online for free. Everything. I didn’t find a single nugget of information that I haven’t read online in another fashion.This combined with the fact that Orson Scott Card being a generally shitty person means I don’t feel bad sharing this list with you. Most is geared toward fantasy, so if you feel like picking up HTWSFF for a shallow glimpse into sci-fi writing that you can utilize to write the queerest thing you possibly can, I would encourage you to do so. 🙂

Resources

Below are videos and sites I’ve found helpful for writing basic fantasy stuff. This is by no means exhaustive (my resources number in the hundreds) but it’s a good jumping off point for people who want to start and might not know where to start, which is the same demographic HTWSFF is geared toward anyways. If you have any resources, please do share in the comments below!

Websites

Subreddits

Even searching these or looking through related subreddits and reading through wikis can give you an incredible amount of information. Some shit is… questionable. So use caution and maybe don’t read the comments.

Individual Posts

Videos and Playlists

Youtubers (general fiction writing, mostly YA)

What is the best book on writing that you’ve read?
Do you have any writerly resources to share?

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Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine – review

Bitch Planet Volume 1

Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine
by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Writer), Valentine De Landro (Artist), Robert Wilson IV (Artist)
Series: Bitch Planet (Vol. 1)
Published
: October 7th 2015 by Image Comics
Genre: graphic novel, science fiction
Pages: 156p
Source: purchased
Rating: ★★★★☆

Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation.

In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Volume One of BITCH PLANET collects the first five issues and it was a treat! This was such an interesting read. Some points made definitely pour salt in fresh wounds. I had to finish this in a series of sitting because, especially in the climate we’re living in today, the tyrannical patriarchy aspect really chapped my ass.

BITCH PLANET features a cast in skin tone, body type, and sexuality (this hasn’t really been touched on much yet but there do appear to be some queer characters). Every main character is a woman. Even better, it’s written by a woman, so this doesn’t have that uncomfortable aftertaste of “I can tell a man wrote this female character because her breasts are mentioned on nearly every page.”

The nudity is not gratuitous, it is secondary to what’s happening even though it’s necessary given their circumstances. Women shower naked. What they’re talking about in the shower, and what it leads to, are far more important that the outlines of average breasts. (This was another favorite part of mine – they look like normal women of all shapes and sizes, including their breasts that don’t sit just beneath their collarbones like skin-colored grapefruits.)

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know that I could name more than a couple of characters though I do recognize them when they show up. The same thing happens to me with TV shows, and I wind up referring to Eleanor Guthrie as “the blonde lady” for the whole first season of Black Sails before her name sticks in my head. When it sticks though, it does stick. BITCH PLANET has a large cast of characters and I am just used to fiction that reminds you of someone’s name every other paragraph. The characters are definitely intriguing, especially when it’s mentioned what they’re ‘in for’ before they’re really introduced. Sci-fi is normally hard for me to connect with (probably because it’s often weighed down beneath the male gaze) but I had no such issues with BITCH PLANET.

The art has a very typically comic book style. It’s not the most polished thing, but it definitely suits the aesthetic of the story. Let me tell you, this is one of the more aesthetically pleasing, humorous graphic novels I’ve yet put my eyeballs on. The story is hard to follow in some places, especially if you only read the first issue or two. Definitely pick up the volume for a more full story arc if you’re interested.

One of the final pages (possibly an endpaper? my copy is digital so I don’t know) reads:

ARE YOU NON-COMPLIANT?

DO YOU FIT IN YOUR BOX?

ARE YOU TOO FAT, TOO THIN, TOO LOUD, TOO SHY, TOO RELIGIOUS, TOO SECULAR,

TOO PRUDISH, TOO SEXUAL, TOO QUEER, TOO BLACK, TOO BROWN, TOO WHATEVER-THEY’LL-JUDGE-YOU-FOR-TODAY?

YOU JUST MAY BELONG ON

BITCH PLANET

What sci-fi trope are you least fond of?

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Plutona #1

Plutona #1

Plutona #1
by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, Jordie Bellaire (Illustrator)
Series: Plutona (Issue #1)
Published
: September 2nd 2015 by Image Comics
Genre: comics, fantasy
Pages: 31p
Source: purchased
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

A brand new heartfelt super-hero series by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Hawkeye) and amazing newcomer EMI LENOX! PLUTONA follows the story of five suburban kids who make a shocking discovery while exploring the woods one day after school…the body of Plutona, the world’s greatest superhero. A dark and heartbreaking journey about friendship and coming of age all through the lens of the superhero genre.

Goodreads | Amazon

I’m not normally a fan of superhero… anything. Sorry, Marvel fans (or DC). I like a good Batman or Spider-man film on occasion, but more often than not I am not interested in the typical superhero thing. I like my characters to be way more imperfect than the stereotypical super allows.

While I do like the idea of a glimpse into the world of an average person in a world where there are superheros (I was a massive fan of The Rest of Us Just Live Here, after all), this just didn’t really speak to me. I would’ve rather seen more of how Plutona came to be in the woods instead of 95% of the first issue being about the kids, especially since them finding Plutona in the first place is spoiled by the blurb. If I already know the major thing that happens, what’s the point?

Also, I don’t think the r-slur was necessary. At all. Characters don’t need to fling slurs around to show that they’re grimy people.

The art style is very cute. It reminds me of a webcomic or a 90s Nickelodeon cartoon.

I don’t know. I just really don’t vibe well with single-issue comics because I want much more than they’re willing to tell. I feel like if you’re trying to draw me in with just 31 pages, it better be a damn good 31 pages.

What superhero do you like the most?

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – review

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

THE BONE WITCH
by RIN CHUPECO
Series: The Bone Witch (#1)
Published
: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 400p
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Bone Witch is a bit of a slow burn, and it’s very good at teasing a future that I am 100% invested in. Seventeen year old girl on a beach of corpses? Heck yes I want to know how she got there! It’s a cliffhanger in that this does not come full circle – the final chapter of Tea’s retrospective storytelling does not match up to her meeting the bard at the very beginning. (I am also a big sucker for rune-based magic systems, especially those with a visible cost. Hooray!)

This is very much an apprentice tale, where badass necromancer Tea tells the story of how she came to be a Dark asha – or Bone Witch. As someone who’s read a lot of geisha autobiographies lately, I really enjoyed even the smallest of parallels between geisha and asha. Tea really comes into her own in the second half of the novel, which is when I first started to truly see present-day Tea reflected in her past self. For much of the first half I found myself worried that past-Tea was a little too passive, but I think that was just a product of her circumstances.

After watching Tea grow into her own throughout the story, as well as seeing what she will ultimately become, it was disheartening to have it all hang on some boy at the very end while having near-zero mention of romance in The Bone Witch at all. I expected it, since it’s YA and it comes with the territory, but I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. I just really hope the story isn’t overwhelmed in book two by the apparent necessity of a romance that overwhelms the (in my opinion, far more interesting) plot. While it’s certainly open to a future love triangle (my god, I hope not), I am definitely in for book two at the very least. Tea and her world are far too interesting for me to let go of. For me, this is four stars only because the implication of a future love triangle.

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Yvain: The Knight of the Lion eARC review

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson and Andrea Offermann

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
by M.T. Anderson and andrea offermann
Published: March 14th 2017 by Candlewick Press
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, historical fiction
Pages: 144p
Source: eARC provided via NetGalley
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

In his first graphic novel, National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson turns to Arthurian lore, with captivating art by Andrea Offermann bringing the classic legend to life.

Eager for glory and heedless of others, Sir Yvain sets out from King Arthur’s court and defeats a local lord in battle, unknowingly intertwining his future with the lives of two compelling women: Lady Laudine, the beautiful widow of the fallen lord, and her sly maid Lunette.

In a stunning visual interpretation of a 12th century epic poem by Chrétien de Troyes, readers are — at first glance — transported into a classic Arthurian romance complete with errant knights, plundering giants, and fire-breathing dragons. A closer look, however, reveals a world rich with unspoken emotion.

Striking, evocative art by Andrea Offermann sheds light upon the inner lives of medieval women and the consequences Yvain’s oblivious actions have upon Laudine and Lunette. Renowned author M. T. Anderson embraces a new form with a sophisticated graphic novel that challenges Yvain’s role as hero, delves into the honesty and anguish of love, and asks just how fundamentally the true self can really change.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Note: I received an advance copy for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

I’ve only had one experience with M.T. Anderson’s work before – I read Feed in high school which was…. Well, it was more than half a decade ago. I loved it then but I haven’t touched it since. The fact that he was the author drew me to this more than a promise of some insight about Arthurian lore.The action scenes are dynamic but there were some panels which I felt were wasted opportunities to show more of a setting or have a more dramatic angle than ‘straight-on shot of a bloke sitting at a table with mouth open to show he’s talking’. Not all of the panels were like this, they were a minority, but what stood out most was that there would be so many of these such panels in a row.

A lot seems lost on me since my only knowledge of Arthurian legend is from other adaptations – you know, “strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government” and Quest for Camelot and all that. Without knowing anything “true” and “accurate” (I could go on with the scare quotes there) about Arthurian legend, my guess is that this is supposed to be a “faithful” adaptation for Serious Arthurian Scholars.

Again, this is just my guess, but it seems to use the Frozen excuse of “historical accuracy” to not draw anyone darker than NC15 in its fictional representation of things that never actually happened. BBC’s Merlin had a more diverse cast than this for crying out loud. The horses in this graphic novel have a more diverse range of coat colors than the characters do skin tones

On top of that, the instalove could put many YA books to shame. Convention of myths or not, it’s still bad. At least the entire point of Romeo and Juliet is that they’re being foolish.

Part one, for me, was dull. I couldn’t follow a lot of what was happening because it seemed like a lot of things were meant to be implied but not really explained. It seemed to rely on me to know ahead of time what was going on and, as I’ve said, my knowledge begins and ends around Quest for Camelot. I don’t know how accurate any of this is to ‘true’ Arthurian legend. Lunette and Lady Laudine have some especially gorgeous pages, and their discussions are some of the better examples of making dull, necessary conversation pretty and dynamic. Unfortunately, this is in stark contrast to many of the other panels that are just plain, close shots of whoever’s doing the talking and then a close shot of the next person who talks.

In part two, Yvain temporarily transforms into this topless hairless-but-beardy hunky Jesus type of character that hulks around in what is clearly the shreds of his old clothes but in most of the panels appears to be a less than modest grass skirt. I lost all ability to try and take this seriously at this point because I couldn’t stop thinking of Yvain as anything other than hench Jesus. The action scenes were very dynamic and quite cool – the leviathan (I think) was really beautiful. The landscapes in part two are particularly gorgeous and far more interesting than the boring close-ups of people chatting. This is also where he receives his title of Knight of the Lion

Part three was intended to have more of an impact than it made on me, I think. I didn’t find the big reveal or its surrounding dramatics any more heart-stopping than a bill two days overdue.

I was really hoping that I would enjoy this more, that it would be an inspiration to learn more about Arthurian legend. Instead I’m just disappointed. As far as adaptations go, this is a miss for me. I’d just as soon watch Merlin again, which at least inspired me to look up the characters since I actually cared about them. Frankly, this just further reinforces my thoughts that ‘faithful’ adaptations suffer from their insistence on ‘accuracy’.

Are you an Arthurian Legend buff or more casually knowledgeable?

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