Dark Swan: Storm Born: A sensual graphic novel

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsRichelle Mead Dark Swan Graphic Novels 1. Storm BornDark Swan: Storm Born by Richelle Mead

The Dark Swan: Storm Born comic is based on Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan urban fantasy series. The art is by Dave Hamann and the comic was written by Richelle Mead and Grant Alter. I recently had the opportunity to read the first two issues.

The story centers on Eugenie Markham, also known as Odile, who does fairy and spirit banishings for hire. But now, alarmingly, the spirits she encounters have been calling her by her real name, which they’re not supposed to know — and they’re all creepily propositioning her, too. Meanwhile, a young man is trying to get Eugenie to investigate the disappearance of his teenage sister, who has been kidnapped by the fae. Eugenie struggles with the difficult question of whether she’s willing to venture into the fairy realm to find her. Also, she meets the mysterious and very hot Kiyo. The two share a steamy night together, and then each learns that the other is not quite human…

Hamann’s art is gorgeous. The colors are vivid, the characters are striking and seem to come to life on the page, and the story is always clear and easy to follow. It’s also quite sensual; there are a lot of scenes of nudity with the crucial bits artfully draped with hair, a towel, etc.

What’s not grabbing me as much is the story itself. It feels like something I’ve seen before. The tough young woman who slays supernatural beasties, and who is sexually desired by almost all of them, is fairly common in urban fantasy.

(Additionally, I find her faux-Native American roommate really offensive, but I think I’m supposed to. The guy is slime.)

While the plot feels well-worn so far, it’s possible that it develops later into something more original. I don’t want to be too hasty, and I am curious about what’s going on with the missing girl, so I may read further issues of Dark Swan: Storm Born and/or try the first novel, Storm Born. If you enjoy Richelle Mead’s books, you’ll like Dark Swan: Storm Born, which is a sexy, beautifully drawn, action-packed graphic adaptation.


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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