This Wednesday, Humanoid Publishing releases the hardcover The Swords of Glass. Written by French writer Sylviane Corgiat with artwork by award-winning artist Laura Zuccheri, The Swords of Glass was originally distributed in four parts that were released between 2009 and 2014. For the first time, this epic is being made available in English bound under one book. So is it good?
Swords of Glass (Humanoid Publishing)
This novel chronicles the life and adventure of a girl named Yama as she seeks vengeance on a tyrant who destroyed her family. While Yama is passionate about her retribution, she is also bestowed with the duty to save her world and its inhabitants. In her fantastical world the sun is dying and doing so rapidly which is altering the conditions of the land and will ultimately vanquish life as a whole if something if something is not done about it.
According to legend, four swords forged within the sun itself are sent down to the world and designed to be wielded by four chosen individuals. If anyone else but these chosen ones were to attempt to remove the swords or are struck by the blade after removal they are turned to glass, making them a vastly powerful weapons. When these four mystical swords are brought together, they supposedly create a doorway to new land, safe from the current dying sun and a sanctuary for the planet’s inhabitants.
The Swords of Glass is a healthy-sized novel, which features 204 pages depicting a dazzling and truly imaginative world. Both the creatures and the landscapes are dreamlike and border on surreal at times. Reminiscent of Jim Henson creations, the land doesn’t contain any creatures of our own world, but are full or either hybrid animals or truly original beasts which makes the reading a constant pleasure. These imaginative creatures make even more of an impact when brought to life by the hand of Laure Zuccheri, who makes it apparent that she’s an award winning artist.
Zuccheri puts an incredible amount of detail and color into her panels and I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to put this entire book together. The exceptional art is some of the best I’ve seen and it’s consistent throughout the entire novel. Whether it’s far away scenery shots or close-up jungle panels, Zuccheri is able to play with the magnification of the image and depict both minute and massive scale scenes.
Corgiat is a talented writer who possesses the ability to make a truly intriguing and engaging epic that spans decades within the stories’ timeline. The characters are just as unique as the creatures and depict a number of different cultures represented in this foreign land. Beyond the superficial plot of saving the world, Corgiat incorporates themes of political unrest, revolution, and environmental sustainability. While appearing as an innocent, inspirational tale of a strong female character, this comic contains a lot of tragedy and involves some borderline adult topics. There are some graphic deaths and moments of nudity which definitely brings The Swords of Glass up to a more mature read than it initially appears to be.
However, this comic’s maturity level isn’t thing that wavers. The storyline’s pace is inconsistent as seemingly unimportant sections of the story are drug out, while others are essentially skipped through in a couple of pages. Similarly the plot seems to meander as well with the story progressing slowly and then all at once. At times the scope of the plot includes multiple characters whose significance isn’t expanded upon later in the book and major events occur quickly without the necessary emphasis or detail. With the conflict of the story’s pace and plot, it’s hard to get a read on exactly what type of book this truly is, as well as who it’s intended for.
As for the characters, the story includes an awkward love tension which I wasn’t completely sure was being suggested until the end when the characters speak on it. The nature of the affair makes me uncomfortable and I felt it didn’t need to be included, especially due to how the comic ends. The ending is definitely unexpected and is a huge change in direction from the previous 190 pages. While it seems to go on a bit too long, it then ends abruptly. While technically everything has been answered and you’re provided a full story, it’s just another questionable decision on the direction of the novel.
Is It Good
The Swords of Glass is a truly imaginative tale that begs to be made into an animated film. I would love for this to someday make it to the big screen and that’s due to the mind-blowing art that Zuccheri provides. Despite some questionable plot directions, The Swords of Glass is a purely original and entertaining read through and through.