Recently I had the pleasure of reading the third installment of the Dark Swan comic series by Richelle Mead. For those of you who are following along with my reviews, you know that the series revolves around a woman named Eugenie Markham, who has the supernatural ability to banish spirits known as “the gentry” from attempting to gain entry and harm people in the human world. She is a protector of sorts, and she has honed her skills over the years so that she has become very efficient at banishing spirits back to their own world. This time, however, she must enter this world in order to save a human girl who has been hopelessly trapped by an evil spirit king.
The story begins by following Eugenie as she prepares to travel to the spirit world. The girl, Jasmine, has been captured by a spirit king known as Aeson for some type of enslavement. Eugenie enlists the help of three spirits so that she can protect herself in their world. Two of them, Volusian and Nadi, were contractually obligated to help, as Eugenie had entered them into a form of indentured servitude to her in exchange for their lives when she first encountered them. The third spirit, Finn, was free to come and go as he pleased, as he and Eugenie had struck up a friendship over the years. After outlining her plan to the three spirits, she travels with Jasmine’s brother Wil and her roommate Tim to a deserted stretch of desert where the distance between the human and spirit worlds grew thin. Fortunately, they make it safely to the spirit world, but are soon under siege and brought to King Dorian, the king of the Oak Land. Eugenie and her spirits are wary, as they are unsure that King Dorian will believe her story and instead kill her. Will Eugenie be able to save herself? Will she be able to convince Dorian to help her defeat Aeson? What will happen to Jasmine?
The first thing I noticed about issue #3 was how fantastic the graphics were. I’m not sure if it’s because there were more colors in this one, but the imagery was much better here than in the first two. Traveling into the other world, Eugenie moves through lands that are differentiated by season. It was interesting to see the drawings change for each world and what stood out in each one. Additionally, the storyline seemed to be more exciting and took interesting twists and turns that drew me in, and has me eager to read the next installment. It’s interesting to see how strong the character development has become from issue to issue. Each issue is fairly short, yet packed with multiple revelations about Eugenie’s character and that of her stepfather Roland. It’s my favorite so far, and has really piqued my interest in this series. If you haven’t already, I definitely recommend giving these graphic novels a try!
5 out of 5 Stars
Special thanks to Patrick over at Sea Lion Books for giving me an ARC copy to review and for answering all my stupid emails while he was trying to enjoy Comic Con!