Saturday, November 1, 2014

Chronicles of Hate - Adrian Smith Graphic Novel Review by S.E.

Chronicles of HateChronicles of Hate by Adrian Smith
S.E. Lindbergrating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a daring, impressive work of art: 100pages of monochrome, gritty fantasy. Besides the introduction (a page of beautiful, epic text), those pages average ~one word /page. Adrian Smith relies on his graphic skills to tell the story and does admirably.

In short, Mother Earth is defiled and is bound beneath the ground; humanity falls from any grace it may have had. Men enslave other men, and a brutal Tyrant rules over many. Mother Earth’s spirit engages Worm, the protagonist, who is tasked to free her [or bring back her power somehow]. Her magic has seeped into vegetation since her demise, so sentient fungi and roots play a role. She transforms or communicates to Worm as a white butterfly too.

Adrian Smith's illustrations are generally splendid. If you ever looked into any Warhammer/Games Workshop art (which Adrian has made many) and wished you could immerse yourself in a similar world (this is not part of Warhammer’s TM Olde World), this is your chance.

Enjoying/understanding this took some concentration and rereading of the prologue, which may turn off some but I found enjoyable.  If I understood this correctly, Worm is out to find a key to unlock Mother Earth's chains/cage. Regardless of the low-text approach, I expected to have a better understanding of what to expect in the second volume by the time I reached the end. The number and motivations of the different, conflicting factions is still unclear. Vol. #2 promises to develop this more, which will prompt a reread of this. I plan to purchase the next as soon as it is available.

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