As I have said before, I do not usually reread a book. However, I have had a book in the “give away pile” for longer than I can remember. If I looked at it, I thought, “Did I read that? I had to. It is in the “give away” box. But I do not remember reading it….” Recently I grabbed the book and said, “FINE! We are solving this once and for all! I am reading it!” And I started Scales & Scoundrels V01: Into The Dragon’s Maw. I was going to find out if Sebastian Girner and I had meet on the page before.
At first it seemed familiar, but it has a start that is probably in almost every fantasy graphic novel/novel (a character is a thief/mischievous person playing and losing/winning at a tavern game. The other characters are not happy they lost (if they won, they brag), then either the thief or the others start a commotion due to who won/lost). Several page in, I found the spot I call the “CSI Moment.” (If you remember the episode before “The Grisham” (the joke he says at the start) you can walk away from it. But if you get into the episode and remember it, you must finish.) So, even though I remembered it, I was committed.
I had read about Luvander and her newfound friends before, and I remember the pampered prince (where the Moment happened), his shadow (his female bodyguard who was born to serve, protect and die for her prince) and the dwarf gal. The details were fuzzy, but I remembered. I also remembered I did not like the book all that much that first read. I did like that we had a female dwarf that was cute and was not as thin, muscular, or sexy as female characters can be. She could have been a smidgen braver, but she is the sidekick and the ending of volume one does have a twist that says she might grow into herself. Finally, we get the climax. After the main characters journey into a haunted, cursed, forsaken world we find a battle and a cliffhanger.
I had forgotten how much that cliffhanger peeved me off last time. It still did, but not nearly as bad as before. Perhaps that was because I knew that there was a volume two (if I can figure out how to get a copy) or maybe I just appreciated fantasy and graphic novels differently than three years ago. Therefore, I liked this book a lot more than the first time around, which does not usually happen. Re-reads never seem to hold up. But when they do, it is a nice surprise. It is still a 3 to 3.5 rating, though.
And I still like the illustrations. They are not “solid” images but are fanciful. You can see they are art on the page, not something you can “hold” onto. But the little details are still fun. One character has an interesting event happen with their eyes. It felt a bit, cliched, but also really shows you this character, why their personality is what it is. Galaad has a unique style to their art. But one that is not necessarily “hate or love.” There are grey areas to liking or disliking. Most of the colors are strong and more brightly created.
I would say all ages could read, but a few areas have fantasy adventure/violence. Probably nothing younger readers have not seen before, but reading it/seeing illustrations are different from tv/movies.