I received this book from my brother in law this past Christmas, as he knew I liked graphic novels and is always willing to take a stab in the dark. I had actually already seen this book, although not read, as my son had already borrowed it from the library. He had been trying to get me to read it, and we ran out of time, so was very happy to have it cross my lap again.
The Mouse Guard is a unit of mice that defend the mouse towns and guide travellers between them in England, 1152. They wear capes and have weapons, and defend travellers against such world appropriate threats such as snakes and crabs. The battle against these enemies is ideal in terms of world building, because it builds a secret mouse world that is convincing, similar to Mrs. Brisby’s family being threatened with the plow in the Rats of NIMH. However, the story focuses on three particular guard and the main adventure of the story, a mysterious plot that abounds treachery and the stolen identity of a seemingly mythical hero. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam are given clear identities in the story, and fill in the roles that are commonly seen in adventure stories, such as the hot-headed youth. It’s fun to read and easy to follow, even for young readers.
Petersen both writes and illustrates this series, and does wonderful work with both. The art is gorgeous and detailed, with some gorgeous colour palettes. The story itself is fun, exciting and daring without begin too scary. The story seems a bit slight sometimes, but does a good job of world building and setting the stage for additional books in the series, both in terms of exploring the adventure and the larger over-arching mystery. I will be searching out the sequels so that my son and I can enjoy them together.