If Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fight Club and One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest got together, this might be the results.
Sparrowhawk (Books 1 to 5) is one “wild, crazy, disturbing, odd, funny, brightly light and dark all at once, and our train is flying off the tracks” ride. Delilah S. Dawson (even their name is beautiful and mysterious and slightly creepy) created a modern Alice in Wonderland, where “Alice” grows wings, uses a big a$$ swords, kills monsters and the Cheshire Cat has horns and fangs and wings and looks like a demented White Rabbit and The Mad Hatter mixture.
As the illegitimate daughter of a Naval captain, Artemisia, lives in her fathers’ home as a servant to her sisters. When her oldest sister dies, it is up to Art to “take her place” and live a life she was not really raised for but expected to do. But instead of having to figure out how to get out of this, the Fairy Queen tricks her into switching places (cue one mirror) and that’s when the fun begins. And now cue the “Good vs. Evil” theme. Cue the “Doing the wrong thing for the right reason” theme. Cue the “Brooding Vampire-Fairy Prince. Cue ugly monsters that one kills as they are obviously bad (or are there). Cue the transformation themes. Cue pretty much any fantasy theme you can think of in some form or other.
There is nothing new there, but with Matias Basla’s illustrations we have a fresh way of telling it. It is familiar, yet there are still a few surprises. Art battles her way home, but you the reader see that her transformation might not be a good thing. You see the monster Art is becoming. The characters are a little two-dimensional (especially her parents). The ending is one of the few surprises (and one of my favorite lines in the “understatement much lady” category).
This book is dark. There is blood, violence and not really a happy book, but overall, I enjoyed it. Am I saying, “BUY IT NOW”? No, but maybe look at it. If you want to read a fantasy graphic novel with the familiar and new, you might like this. Due to the ending I am curious about the next few issues, but not necessarily going to go on. That is the interesting thing about this book. There is a solid, but opened, ending.
For ages 14 to adult.