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Need More Narnia? Read

Sitting in front of me is a sack of graphic novels about five inches thick. Normally, if I put my mind to it I could read a stack like that in a couple of days, a couple of weeks if there was a lot going on. Now, I've had a lot of changes in my life lately: a new house, building a new house for a family member, report cards and all that comes with that, and a few other things. All of those excuses should give me an extra two or three weeks to read the stack that is still sitting in front of me. Do the math and we are talking 5-6 weeks tops to do all this reading.

Well, with apologies to the creator of this stack of books, Mark Oakley , it has taken me over three months to finally finish two of his graphic novels. This has nothing to do with the quality of the books and everything to do with the unusual quantity of reading that comes with each volume of Thieves and Kings (which I will get to).

Volume 1 of Thieves and Kings basically follows the young thief Rubel as he reestablishes himself in a life he left behind years before. He realizes that the allies he had as a youth have either moved on or disappeared, except for the tiny imp, Varkias. He meets the Shadow Lady and is chased by soldiers along rooftops as he tries to get to Princes Katara (because he is HER thief I won't give away the first few pages of the book by telling you more about that).

Volume 2 gives us the backstory on one of Rubel's main allies, the Wizard Quinton Zempfester ( Gandalf he is not) and introduces us to the young sorceress apprentice, Heath Wingwhit. This is where the story really starts to get going. New enemies are revealed and old enemies give us something to think about (what's going on with the Shadow Lady?).

The series so far has a strong Narnia feel to it without feeling like a copy of any of those wonderful books. I think it would be a hit for Narnia fans of any age.

The reason that it has taken me so long to read these books and the reason that you should pick it up for your family is the format that it is written in. The first two volumes are a great mix of traditional and comic storytelling. Oakley tells some of the story through comic pages, and others using text. On these pages the borders of the pages contain illustrations that either enhance the text or tell a different part of the story. For example, he uses the borders of a flashback story to visually continue the chasing of Rubel by the palace guards.

If the person you are thinking of getting this series for loves to read and you are not sure if comics would interest him/her, this is the series you want to get. If the person you are thinking of getting this series for loves comics, but is not a fan of regular books, this is the series you want to get.

To sum up, I have really enjoyed the series so far. The story is compelling and full of adventure. The art is a mix of highly detailed backgrounds and anime/manga syle characters (from before it became cool to do so). There is enough of the series out so far to keep anyone busy. There are five of the seven books out so far, with number six coming out soon. Be sure to check out a sample chapter HERE

The Thieves and Kings website is full of information and samples of the series (as well as ORDERING INFORMATION).

Any questions or comments, contact me at comicsintheclassroom @ gmail.com


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The prior copyright notice was in error. The correct copyright notification is Comics in the Classroom, (C) Scott Tingley 2007 All rights reserved.

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