Shades of Magic Volume 1: The Steel Prince

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V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series of speculative fantasy novels—a wonderful world of multiple realities where magic exists less as some kind of medieval trope and more as a functional aspect of everyday life—has become hugely popular. So much so, the author has decided to give readers a glimpse into her world’s past.

The Steel Prince is a graphic novel that takes place before the events of the Shades of Magic series, a sort of prequel. However, readers needn’t come to it with any knowledge of the series. The book is able to stand on its own while adding more depth to its cousin stories, which means readers are able to immerse themselves in an exceptional story.

Sent away by his father, the king, Prince Maxim Maresh is tasked with proving himself far from the safety of his empire’s capital in the coastal city of Verose. There, Maxim discovers the government’s power is decidedly weaker, as brigands led by a pirate queen dictate the law of the city.

Schwab’s magic system is unique and compelling, and it is vividly depicted by artist Andrea Olimpieri, who expertly captures the dynamism of the brutal combat scenes as well as the heartfelt expressions of the characters.

Collecting the first four issues of Schwab’s graphic novel series, The Steel Prince will satisfy fans of the series with its supplemental narratives while also giving new readers a fascinating glimpse into a truly wonderful fantasy realm. Lovers of comics as well as of fantasy will find this gritty, literary graphic novel supremely pleasing.

Reviewed By:

Author V. E. Schwab • Andrea Olimpieri, Illustrator
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 112 pages
Publisher Titan Comics
Publish Date 2019-03-05
ISBN 9781785865879 Buy this Book
Issue October 2019
Category Sequential Art


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