According to an author snippet biography I read of Alexis Deacon, they are known for their picture books. Which I am now going to investigate after reading this bizarre graphic novel series called Curse of the Chosen.
Originally know as Geis: A Matter of Life and Death and Geis II: A Game Without Rules, they will be reissued Curse of the Chosen Vol. 1: A Matter of Life and Death & a Game Without Rules (July 2022) and Curse of the Chosen Vol. 2: The Will That Shapes the World (August 2022).
And that is probably going to be the most sense I make in this whole review. I have no idea and a whole bunch of ideas what the heck was going on (only I didn’t say heck. Just change the first two letters).
Hell, itself is unleashed when the chief of her village dies. With her last breath, she unleashes the Death Witch, Niope. She (and the question is which she) unleashes a contest to pick the next leader. Even though many put their names in, only 50 people are pulled from their beds to sign a contract where the price of the contest is their very life if they do not survive. But surviving by itself is the least of their worries, they must win and by winning, that means you are the last one standing.
And here we follow several characters as they play a game with no rules, but ones you need to know, nonetheless. The main characters center around a young girl (from a well-to-do family with ties to magic themselves) and Nemas, a young brother who will do anything to prove himself with his brothers, the village, and the game. But there is also Artur, Nelson, Ben, Count Julius, Nemas’ brothers, and Eloise (a woman with some magic herself). The other players, the ones who did not pass the first test become part of the plan of Niope. Dead and alive, these beings watch.
They watch the odd action. Volume One covers tests one and two. The first is to test if you know the land, the second how to play the game. The flow of the story is odd, bouncy, and pokey. There are contradictions and smooth sailing. I am assuming the original language the book was published was Spanish or possibly French as sometimes the language feels not as natural as it could have.
The look of the artwork has a combination of Spanish, French, German and even Russian elements. You see medieval castles, landscape, and attitudes. There is realistic and a fantasy feeling of set anyplace, anywhere, any universe. The details are scattered, almost in the background of the background. While they might not be a main character, the surroundings of the characters are important. Lack of color can be a bit confusing at times, but they due set the realistic abstract tone of the text.
I am assuming you should read the two volumes as close together as possible as the story seems to be a continuation one. And while the ages are said to be young adult (I’m assuming 13 and up, or very strong 12), adults might be the better audience. There is violence, some nudity, and concepts that might not be accessible all readers.