BOOKS OF MAGIC #7
As police inspectors ask around school about the death of Brisby and the disappearance of Ellie, the same two names keep coming up. Dr Rose and Tim Hunter. While Tim and Rose are sought after back home by the long arm of the Law, they in turn embark on a mission to discover the whereabouts of Ellie. But the man who has trapped her in an as yet unknown location is taking great pains to ensure they don’t find her and has derailed their efforts by trapping them in Faerie. A place Tim has no memory of having visited before. And a place where they are cordially invited to an audience with the Queen of the Realm. None other than Titania herself.
Writing: Kat Howard ensures this issue delivers a little of everything for everybody. To those who are taking their first steps into the life of Timothy Hunter there is fresh new insight into a character with much to offer, who is equal parts fascinated by the events unfolding around him and unwilling to be phased by the adversity. For those readers there is new pleasure to be had, without having to be bogged down by needless exposition and flashback shenanigans. And for those who are old friends of the character and his rich history within the world of magic, there is the delightful nod to past interactions with Faerie and in particular Titania. And Rose’s conclusion that Tim has had his memories taken as a tithe even allow for the past to be simply explained in it’s absence of context, without becoming too concerned with the past.
Even the little mention of the Goblin Market calls to mind the time he and Rose entered that market last together, and the haunting prose of Christina Rosetti echoes in the background of the subconscious. And there are many questions to be answered about the ‘non-Tim’ staring back from the scrying pool. This dark image of Tim is coming to the fore more often now, firstly in Rose’s Extispicy in Books of Magic #2 and now this reflection. This could be the next plot development coming into play finally. Not to mention the images flashing through Tim’s mind when he arrives in Fearie. Are these past memories or harbingers of things to come? Is he having premonitions now? If he is then one has already made itself apparent by the end of the issue as we see Titania in there. And is that Baba Yaga’s house on chicken legs?
Characters: These changes in Tim’s personality are beginning to intrigue me as much as the story itself. His forthrightness last issue was reassuring in that he chose to search for Ellie instead of motives led by personal interest. And there is also something disarming and quite amusing in his insistence that the world bend to his whim. Despite the fact Rose is not able to comply with that wish on some occasions.
Nothing phases him it seems and he is quite prepared to take everything on full force, knowing he has the protection of Rose. He ploughs on regardless of the consequences to himself without showing a modicum of fear or trepidation for his own plight. Though he asks questions (many questions) and has doubts, it doesn’t cow him into submission.
Art: Tom Fowler continues to weave his spell, ably assisted by Brian Churilla’s finishes. The dark shadowy realm our protagonists find themselves in is perfectly imagined and gives the ideal balance between menace and wonder. Right down to the chittering, scuttling minions of the Queen of Fearie herself. And the energy of the action scene also played out in a perfect way, as Davies binds them to Fearie and blocks their progress in a battle of wills. And I loved the panel layout as it shifted the focus between the two combatants.
The addition of Brian to Tom’s work is different and strangely alluring. It brings a kinetic energy to it which perfectly suits the story and the action, right up to the wonderfully inevitable ending. And Jordan Boyd’s colors again give perfect resonance to the art and keeps the background from overpowering the action, whilst ensuring Fearie isn’t too whimsical, but just the right amount of murky darkness.
Again the cover by Kai Carpenter informs the story perfectly, showing our two lost and weary travellers making their way through trees that have become imbued with magical sentience. It gives a disturbingly hypnotic feel to the surroundings, while allowing the dark thorny mystery of Fearie to bleed in around the edges of perception.
Magic comes home and witnesses the dark things that live there.
Books of Magic #7: We Must Not Buy Their Fruits
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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