The Quest For The Time-Bird (La Quête de l’oiseau du temps) by Serge Le Tendre and Régis Loisel

In this graphic novel, we follow a gruff heroic knight forced out of retirement and a beautiful warrior maiden with a temper as they search for the magical ingredients the maiden’s sorceress-princess mother requires to stop the return of a despotic imprisoned god.

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With an interesting tonal mix between the typical epic fantasy stakes, typical low fantasy character flaws and splashes of irreverent blue comedy, the story is rather engaging, even as it to some extent goes through the motions of the typical genre Quest. This is, however, greatly alleviated by the ending, which feels both surprising and inevitable at the same time.

What really sells one on this story, though, is of course the gorgeous artwork, which really gets a chance to shine in the huge page format this book has.

However, the English translation is unfortunately rather erratic, sometimes making it hard to know exactly what a character is referring to with a given statement, and I often had to pan back and forth between several panels to make proper sense of what was being said. If you can read it in the original French, I therefore suspect you’ll get a much better experience.

But even with the translation’s issues, I really enjoyed this, and would not hesitate to recommend it to any fans of epic fantasy who are looking for something pretty to read that is both tried and true, but also ever so slightly different.

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