Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of the Demon in the Wood graphic novel.
Before he led Ravka’s Second Army, before he created the Fold, and long before he became the Darkling, he was just a lonely boy burdened by an extraordinary power. Eryk and his mother, Lena, have spent their lives on the run. But they will never find a safe haven. They are not only Grisha – they are the deadliest and rarest of their kind. Feared by those who wish to destroy them and hunted by those who would exploit their gifts, they must hide their true abilities wherever they go. But sometimes deadly secrets have a way of revealing themselves . . .
The illustrations here were just utterly beautiful. I honestly couldn’t get over how well the sense of atmosphere and magic was captured in this art, and it is a work of art in itself, even minus the story. What it also managed to really do was put forward a vulnerable teenage boy going through trauma, rather than the feared Darkling we come to know in the books.
It was endlessly clever and touching, and I spent ages looking at the pages, even those without any or much dialogue on them. I read this not long after The Sad Ghost Club, and while the art forms couldn’t be more different, it is a testament to the artists skill in both cases how well they put across the emotions.
I didn’t fall head over heels in love with the Shadow and Bone series (although you can read my review of the first book here) but I am a complete sucker for a villian origin story, and so had to read this. I felt a real wave of sympathy for the character of the Darkling, and for his mother, and it was easy to see how things began to form for him, and the way they went spinning downhill. It’s sad, because I feel if things had been different, maybe he could have been different, and even without finishing the series, I can feel sorry for him with that.
The text works wonderfully with the illustrations to demonstrate the way human failures work, the way fear can drive people, and the way revenge can come from even the best of starting points. It was captivating, and I really will remember it for a while to come.
Thanks for stopping by for this review, and I hope you’ll be around for another to come. You can follow my blog to make sure you never miss a post too if you want to…