WHAT THE FLAMING TORCHES DID I JUST READ?
I could probably fill an entire review with comments like the one above for Curse of the Chosen Volume two: The Will That Shapes the World. This graphic novel by Alexis Deacon is just that, graphic in imagery and subject. It is not for the faint of heart, to say the least. The theme is a bit on the clichéd side (the weak overcoming the strong, as they come into their own; plus, the battle between good and evil and life and death) but still it is worth reading. I know some people will have saturated themselves in that theme and would want to move onto something else, but others will inhale it.
Book two (note, read book one first or nothing makes sense) gets to the “meat and potatoes” of Io (a young girl, whom we learn has an interesting past) and the contest to the death she faces. Witches, Sorceress, little naked men (later wearing mouse skin and pieces of his beloved’s dress), traitors, the law, justice, and a bird named Law smack you upside the face with serious violence, hatred, and even oddly enough, beauty. Ugly illustrations that grace the pages are powerfully beautiful in their depravity. And that’s the word of the day. Depravity. The depravity of greed, humanity and yet, the opposite of it all as well. A violent coming-of-age story. Not for those who are sensitive to animal cruelty, death, graphic violence and manipulation of people.
In the back of the copy I had, there is a short interview with the author. Their favorite character was Artur. And I think he was mine as well. But I say think, as even the sorceress Niope and the player Nemas (both are villains in their own ways) have qualities as characters that are interesting and likable. Now the characters themselves as people are not likable, but their story arcs are clever. But then again, I like a “good” bad guy.
In the end, this is what the book is about: The relatability of the characters. Artur the (literal) “little guy” doing big things; Io the young girl learning about being a true ruler; and all understanding how “magic uses life” and therefore, the only life you are freely allowed to take is your own.
Obviously, you can take a “deeper meaning” to the story or take it as one Hell of a ride. Either way, Curse is a series that gets you thinking and will be a love it or hate it title.