Friday, April 07, 2006

Thieves and Kings Book 1 - Mark Oakley [March/06]

It is with great excitement that I write a review of this particular book, maybe because in the back of my mind I would love to get him more readers. You see, he started his career in Ontario, but moved to my town two years ago. I suppose we consider him one of our own now, even if he did start the comic many years before in a different town. Thieves and Kings is the first volume of the series. How do you tell it from others, simple, it's the Red Book. He has them distinguished by colours, not by titles, which is fun. Thieves and Kings is not like the rest of the books that I have covered in this blog because it is a graphic novel, not a play or fictional novel.

This particular book encompasses the first six issues of the series. It is in here that we meet some of the characters that will eventually be essential to the series. The main character is Rubel, a young thief that makes the acquaintance of the princess of his home and becomes her royal thief. After that, the comic jumps ahead and we meet Rubel when he is a little bit older, but still only a child on the brink of maturity. After meeting the princess in the first pages of the comic, she is never heard from again for the rest of the pages, and since I have not read any of the other issues yet, I do not know for sure when she does return. All we do know is that everything that Rubel does he declares in the name of the Princess.

In this particular issue, Rubel is joined by Varkias. Varkias is a little, well, creature, that is the only friend that Rubel has in the world. The world has been changing and with it his friends and relatives, so he quite quickly finds himself alone in the world.

The back of the collection quotes this, I think it will show what happens in the comic quite well and might catch future readers:

With the five red-faced guardsman unused to rooftops and unable to run as quickly as Rubel in any case, it began to look as though the boy might just get away. When this realization dawned upon him, Rubel's fright, which had become very tightly wound indeed, loosed all at once, turning into something ticklish and laughing and entirely unexpected.

"Ha Ha!" he turned and sang, "You can't catch me! You can't catch me! I am the princesses' thief, I am!"

And then he ran out of rooftops.

"Nice going," Varkias said, lighting on his shoulder, still clutching the rose meant for Katara. "I think you should have turned a different way a couple of houses back."

The five guardsman came puffing up behind him wearing expressions which were quite black.

Will Rubel live to see another adventure? Find out for yourself and pick up a copy of this series for yourself. It uses both drawing and the classic comic style, and is quite fun to read. Always good to buy a gift for your boyfriend that you can use yourself!


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