Rose is a classic fantasy tale about a girl trying to restore balance to a broken world. We are introduced to a world where magical Guardians once ruled peacefully over a beautiful and thriving place. These Guardians were born magical protectors and had the ability to connect with companions, Khats, that helped them maintain the peace and prosperity of their world. At some point, the Guardians are targeted by evil forces until they all but disappear and now an evil Queen rules with intimidation and fear. Enter Rose who is born with the gift of magical abilities. She has been hidden for a good while until she starts experimenting with her power and attracts the attention of the queen. Of course Rose’s world is destroyed in the Queen’s hunt to find and destroy her, forcing Rose to grow up fast. She has to find and connect to her Khat and survive in order to become the Guardian her world needs.
I am so intrigued. I grew up reading and loving the fantasy genre but there was a big deficit in stories with a strong female lead taking on the metaphorical heroes journey. Finch takes the classic heroes journey and puts a fresh face on it. Even the evil antagonist is a Queen! The Queen isn’t just eye candy either, she is a complicated, independent woman who wields formidable power and is the most interesting character so far. Guara has strong work, perfect for the fantasy genre. He pays a lot of attention to detail and lighting and uses a lot of color so that the world depicted is just beautiful. The words and pictures combine into what easily feels like a labor of love in honor of the classical fantasy genre.
Welcome to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida where the police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches that plan on taking everything from them. Bible thumpers beware.
If you enjoy a good southern-gothic horror, Redlands just may be what you’ve been waiting for.
The story opens in 1977. The lynching of three witches has not gone as planned. The lynching tree is on fire and the police are immobilized with terror and hiding in their precinct. The reader is only given little pieces of the puzzle. We don’t know how the lynching went wrong or why the women were put there. There is a ghost that haunts the Sheriff, hinting at deeper, darker secrets. And what is the deal with all those people locked up in the dark? With an opening such as this, everything is turned on its head. Who is more vile, the women for whatever it was they were accused of or the police for attempting to lynch them? It’s clear the witches have plans for the future of Redlands, and said plans look bloody well promising to say the least.
The art and coloring fit perfectly with the story. There is something about the scratchy, frantic way she draws the scenes that adds to the unsettled terror and chaos. The characters seems scratched out of the shadows and it’s truly creepy how the light coming from the lynching tree is the only illumination for the things coming out of the dark. It’s a horror story lover’s dream.
How did I not review this when it first came out? SO many apologies…
Meet Gertrude, a six year old who has been stuck in Fairyland for almost thirty years. She is willing to hack and slash her way through anything to get back home. Even a magical place like Fairyland will lose its magic and drive a girl a little mad if she can’t leave. You do not want to miss this blood soaked journey to see who survives the girl who hates fairyland.
Skottie Young. That’s all you need to know to make you want this book. I Hate Fairyland is his debut epic fantasy for Image that is sort of like Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, if Alice or Dorothy were more like Tank Girl. Needless to say, this is not one for the kiddies. Every issue is what it is, a fun romp through a whimsical and unpredictable world. Who doesn’t remember what it was like to dream of being some perfect, happy protagonist on some magical adventure in a world of marvels, like talking wondrous creatures that answer in riddles and fart glitter? I mean, who wouldn’t have a good time? What about after thirty years of the same? Could you still be happy and chippy or would you be bitter and completely mad? Could you still greet the challenge of crossing ice cream mountains with joy and grace or would you want to throttle the next muffin fluffin unicorn that farted in your general direction? Anything goes in the world of Skottie Young. The results are awesomely funny.