Jan 22, 2009

Fables 7 and 8 by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, etc. (and 9, actually)

Ah, Fables. The more I read you, the more I love you, but the less I know what to write about you. It’s not that I have nothing to say, nor that the books are repetitive, but a lot of what I love about each individual book is what I love about the series as a whole, so I kind of fear that at this point I’m just being repetitive.

Also, plot summaries of these books are inevitably spoilers for previous ones, so I kind of want to try and avoid those too, at least as much as possible. I should probably should stick a spoilers warning here somewhere and say however much I want guilt-free, I know. But let’s see if I can manage this way.

So, in Arabian Nights (and Days), a delegation of Eastern Fables arrives to Fabletown. And among them is Sindbad! And a Djinn! (I hope this doesn’t count as a spoiler.) Anyway, the inevitable culture clash and mutual suspicion that follows will probably seem familiar to, well, pretty much everyone living in today's world. The good news is that an understanding is eventually reached, but I won’t tell you how.

Something I loved: how different font styles were used to represent different languages. It works really well. It acknowledges that not everyone is speaking the same language without making things hard for the reader by throwing in weird made up words.

There is a second story arc in this book, “The Ballad of Rodney in June”. In this story, we get behind enemy lines and see things from the perspective of two of The Adversary’s, er, collaborators. I think I enjoyed this even more than the previous story arc. It allowed the Adversary's side to be somewhat humanized, for starters, which makes sense if you consider everything this series is saying. Plus it was sad and touching and it made my heart break because I can so see how what happens here will come back to haunt us later on.

Volume 8, Wolves, is one of my favourites so far. It was so satisfying in so many ways. Some answers were given, some things I was hoping to see happen happened, and plus we get to see a lot of Mowgli. I have a soft spot for Mowgli.

The problem – which isn’t even that big of a problem – is that it felt a bit like a calm before the storm sort of volume. And so it left me filled with dread for these characters. I fear that their happiness will be short-lived. Fingers crossed that I’m wrong. I’m actually making a point of writing this before I start volume 9 because I don’t want whatever I’ll find there to influence my opinion of this book.

Wolves also has some of those this-will-surely-have-consequences-later sort of events, so I have the feeling that the next book will be action-filled. Soon I’ll find out! Meanwhile, some pretty art:

Edit to add: Well, I finished Sons of Empire this morning, so I might as well kill three birds with one stone and write about it too. First of all, this wasn’t it yet. Dark forces are gathering, but this is still a continuation of the calm before the storm. Not that I mind.

Hmm, what to say that isn’t spoilerish. I think this volume has my favourite art so far. The “Father and Son” issues, illustrated by Mike and Laura Allred, are absolutely gorgeous. I loved the story itself too, which is about Bigby and his father. And just look at the art for “Porky Pine Pie”, by Joshua Middleton:

Wow. Just wow. And look at the art for "The Road to Paradise” by JoĆ«lle Jones:

There was something I loved at the end of this volume: an issue called “Burning Questions” in which fan questions about past events in the series were answered in very short stories. Most of the stories were very funny, and some answered things I had wondered about myself.

Well, off to read The Good Prince.

Other Blog Reviews:
Tripping Towards Lucidity (Wolves)
Everyday reads (Arabian Nights (and Days))
Firefly's Book Blog (Arabian Nights (and Days))
Firefly's Book Blog (Wolves)
Firefly's Book Blog (Sons of Empire)
Sophisticated Dorkiness (Books 5-7)
The Written World (Arabian Nights (and Days))
Jenny's Book (Arabian Nights )And Days))

(Please let me know if I missed yours.)


  1. Oh my, oh my, oh my...I'm just going to have to break down and buy them all, aren't I?!! Not that that's not where I was heading anyway, after reading the first one. But I was kind of figuring I'd just take them one at a time... Yeah, that's just not going to work, is it?

  2. These books sound really interesting. Something that I could possibly share with my teenage son. Thanks for the heads up, and nice spoiler free review!

  3. Hi, Nymeth! I just tagged you for a bookshelf meme (if you haven't already done it).

  4. Debi, that's the problem with them (and by "problem" I of course mean "really great thing"). They're incredibly addictive, and when you finish one you want to jump right into the next!

    Zibilee, I hope both you and your son enjoy the series! I think it's definitely one that would appeal to both teens and adults.

    Jeane: I did the meme last week, but thanks for thinking of me! Going over to read your answers now.

  5. I've been hearing so much about Fables over the last couple of weeks. I haven't ever ventured into graphic novels but this book's gorgeous art and story line is VERY tempting.

  6. I don't think the Djinn is much of a spoiler, considering he's right there on the cover! :)

    I always forget to talk about the artwork, except when something really catches my eye, but it really is gorgeous.

  7. Sounds like an intriguing read. Hmm... you make every book sounds good. Can I resist not putting this into my wishlist? We shall see...

  8. Saveophelia: I think Fables would be a perfect introduction to the medium. If you do pick it up, start with either Legends in Exile or 1001 Nights of Snowfall (a prequel not related to the main storyline...I haven't read it yet, but what I've seen of the art is SO gorgeous.)

    Fyrefly: lol, good point :P

    Naida: I do :D Fables makes me happy.

    Alice: Well, not EVERY book :P These series really is great!

  9. I haven't gotten this far yet, so I'm not reading your review - but I will be back when I've caught up :P

  10. I have read up to book 7, now. I went to the bookstore the other night and was really considering buying at least book 8, but the price was crazy! I will wait until February and buy a copy online... And, probably get book 8... maybe 9... at the same time. I just don't understand why book 8 was way more than even book 9, it was a smaller book than book 9. Oh, well, I shouldn't buy books, anyways!

  11. Oh I love Fables as well. I've only got the first 2 read and I'd have more read but The Book Vault (best book store in Stratford) is missing books 3-7 at the moment. I'm waiting for them to show up. But I'll get them as soon as I can. Looking forward to reading these ones too.

  12. Joanne: Aww, and I was all careful to make it spoilers-free :( Seriously though, I totally understand...I normally save them for after reading the books too. Can't wait to see what you think of these!

    Kailana: Today I went out and bough book 11. And then I got home and read all of it :P So now all I have left is the prequel and Jack of Fables :( War and Pieces was overpriced too, but I was so thrilled and surprised to see it at the bookstore, meaning I could take it home and read it right away, that I decided to just cough up the money for once :P Of course, I really can't afford to do that often. But yeah, the way the prices vary just makes no sense!

    thatsthebook: Enjoy the rest of the series! I hope you find them soon :)

  13. Fables is a great series, and I agree about Joshua Middleton's art. Wolves was definitely a great story, but I really enjoyed The Good Prince. I won't say too much about it, though, because I'm sure you'll be reading it soon enough. :)

  14. Great review Nymeth, thanks. I still haven't read Fables 1 which is sitting on my bookself! I hope to get to it this year at least!

  15. Jessi: I have now, and War and Pieces too. I liked The Good Prince better, but both were good. It really is a great series :)

    Mariel: I've no doubt you'll enjoy these!

  16. Nymeth: I am jealous. lol Actually, I have a gift card and I was pricing the other night. I am going to get books 8 and 9 when I buy the new Patricia Briggs. I would have them already if the bookstore didn't have this new thing where they charge you extra for shipping pre-orders! I have to wait until the actual day to spend the last of it. So annoying!

  17. I do have to admit that these look interesting--and I've enjoyed reading yours and Fyrefly's reviews, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable enough with the graphic novel genre to jump in yet. How many are there in total?

  18. I'm so new to graphic novels, but these sound great. At the moment I'm reading Bones. I was the library today and I have to wait until Feb. 9 for #4. Arghhhhh.

  19. the art look fabulous! I really need to start reading this series sometime soon!

  20. I'm ridiculously behind on the series. Ridiculously!!!

  21. I'm finally going to be getting these soon!!!

  22. Kailana: That is annoying! But at least you'll be able to get them with it eventually. And they're worth the wait, you'll see :P

    Trish: I know not everyone is comfortable with this medium, but this is such a good series! Well, it probably helps that I'm such a fan of fairy tales and fairy tales retold :P But I think pretty much anyone would get something out of them. They're funny and meaningful and smart and the characters are all great. There are 11 books so far, and the series isn't over yet, but the 11th book ended the main plot that started in book 1.

    Beth F: There's so much I haven't read too. I want to get to Bone soon!

    Valentina: Yep, you do :P

    Andi: Think you all the fun you'll have catching up!

    Ladytink: Good :D Can't wait to see what you think.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.