Graphic Novel Review: Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince

Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince

Author: V. E. Schwab

Illustrator: Andrea Olimpieri

Published: March 5, 2019

Publisher: Titan Comics

Number of Pages: 112 pages

Format: eBook

Source: Edelweiss+

Synopsis from Goodreads

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic!

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape.

There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa…

My Review

I know this review is late to the party, but I’d heard about the Shades of Magic graphic novels and they came up on Edelweiss+. I had to request them and of course they were downloads, so here we are! The quality of the e-copy I recieved wasn’t great, but I was able to follow along with the story and the beautiful imagery! I double checked the sample from Amazon, it looks 100% great in ebook format!

There is a lot to unpack here, though I’m not usually someone who reviews graphic novels. I was already a fan of V.E. Schwab, having read all of the A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM) series. Kell, Laila, Rhy, they are all some of my favorite characters. I felt this was an intensely interesting choice to release a prequel graphic novel focusing on Rhy’s father, Maxim Maresh. In ADSOM, Maxim is the King of Red London and an exceedingly complex character. The reader really gets to see his beginnings and sees a little bit of Rhy in his early exploits. Maxim’s magic is really interesting and so fun to see played out in the illustrations!

V.E. Schwab is a great author and I can see her brilliant mind work through the story arcs in this volume! I immensely enjoyed the writing and style of this graphic novel. And can we talk about the illustrations? Andrea Olimpieri is an up and coming graphic artist from Italy and wow this is great! I love the style and sharp edges in the illustrations.

Images from Edelweiss+

Illustrating magic can be hard, but I think that Olimpieri did an amazing job with this volume! I will definitely be grabbing the other volumes in this series!

I recieved a galley copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.



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