Another month has come and gone-which means it’s time to share my favorite books from the past month! There are a number of exciting graphic novels this time around, but I also had the pleasure to return to some favorite settings. Here’s what I’ve got.
The Nameless City (Hicks): The Nameless City, which is placed at a strategically important location, has been conquered and controlled for centuries. The citizens, the Named, are subjugated. Bookish, thoughtful Kaidu, a member of the most recent conquering nation, comes to the city to train in the military. One day, after sneaking out into the city, he meets the urchin Rat. At his request, she starts teaching him to run on the city’s rooftops, and a budding friendship develops. Kaidu and Rat’s characterizations and the humor of their shenanigans, paired with Erin Faith Hicks’ gorgeous visuals, makes The Nameless City a delightful read. The story also begins to unpack the deep underlying issues associated with conquest and colonization and leads to a great set-up for future stories that I can’t wait to read.
The City of Blades (Bennettt-Jackson): The city of Voortyashtan was the home of the war goddess, whose soldiers struck fear into their opponents. The gods are (in theory) long-dead, but mysteries and secrets are still afoot on the continent. General Turyin Mulaghesh arrives in Voortyashtan to search for a missing Ministry spy, but quickly realizes that something much bigger is going on. I was thrilled to return to Bennett-Jackson’s unique setting and thoroughly enjoyed this action-packed fantasy-mystery that both built on the previous story (City of Stairs) and stood well on its own. I was deeply entertained by General Mulaghesh, a frequently vulgar, middle-aged war veteran, whose growth I really enjoyed following.
The Beauty, vol. 1 (Haun): What if you could achieve physical perfection without the stress of dieting and exercise? The sexually transmitted disease, the Beauty, gives its hosts the bodies they want, with seemingly no cost. However, when a young woman with the condition combusts on the subway, that paradigm changes. Detectives Vaughn and Foster seek out the cause and a way to help those afflicted, but quickly come up against forces greater than themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel’s exploration of beauty and its role in our culture and ethics.
The Bands of Mourning (Sanderson): After the death of his beloved, Wax struggles to move on. When the kandra approach him and his comrades, asking for assistance in uncovering the bands of the Lord Ruler, Wax grudgingly accepts in order to stop his uncle, who would be extremely dangerous with access to the Lord Ruler’s great power. One of the things I enjoy about Sanderson is that there is always something new to discover in his world and about his characters, and he delivers. Add great quips and an exciting plot, and you get a delightful read. I cannot wait for the next one.
That’s all for this month. See you next time!