The young narrator of Saga, book 3 is born of parents from two different species engaged in a brutal war. Hazel is now old enough to understand that her family must hide, not only because her mom was a soldier who freed her dad while under her guard, but because her very existence disproves that the two species most definitely can co-exist. The war is a profitable venture for powers far beyond the hero parents and all the other grunts used as fodder on both sides. Hazel is, however, only beginning to come to terms with how unusual she is and just how dangerous things are for her little family and the small group of beings that flee with them in their incredible tree ship.
Even as I write that last sentence I know words can not truly convey the magic of this story. Fiona Staples’ illustrations are fortunately so beautiful and expressive that they elevate Vaughan’s amazing story into another level far beyond the average graphic novel. Saga has won accolades already for its brutal, no holds bar tale of daring love. The characters are complex, deep and real enough to make you care from the very first page of the first book ( which complies multiple volumes together in a gorgeous book , or you can read it each of the 54 volumes individually. The story, according to Vaughan in a recent post, is at the half way point by the third book). By the third book, I was so invested I knew I would ugly cry by the end.
I will tell no spoilers for those no caught up and if you haven’t even started, do yourself a favour even if this is the only graphic novel you’ll ever read. And it is a novel, the story is truly literary which is not surprising given that Vaughan is the author of Ex Machina among other works.
What a parent will do to save their child and how that child carries the burden of that sacrifice forms the heart of the tale. But love between partners, gay or straight, cis or trans as well as the love between friends and family, anchor this sometimes brutal story in a beautiful way that heals even while it hurts. To say this book is a masterpiece sounds trite but it’s true. Visually and in words Saga continues to delight and horrify right up to the very last cliff hanger page. I can not wait until the next book comes out. Highly recommend.