Genre: YA fantasy graphic novel
Length: 272 pages
Setting: the capital of an unnamed medieval Kindgom
Interest: I saw it at the library and thought it looked interesting. We’re on a graphic novel kick at our house, so I’m trying to find good graphic novels to read.
Summary: In the Kingdom, Lord Ballistar Blackheart was expelled from The Institute of Law Enforcement when his rival, Sir Ambrose Goldenloin, shot off his arm in a joust. Since then, Blackheart has become an evil genius and Goldenloin is his nemesis who always foils his plans. Things change when Nimona, a young, shapeshifting girl, shows up at Blackheart’s castle and presents herself as a new sidekick. Nimona escalates the violence, provoking the Director at The Institute. The Director makes a plan to eliminate Nimona, but things go horribly wrong when Nimona nearly destroys the city.
Final thoughts: This had a slow start to the story, and I was almost ready to put the book down and not finish it. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because it had hooked me by the end. The author plays with many of the fantasy tropes and turns them around. Blackheart and Goldenloin have a stylized relationship, but Nimona is a force of change. She’s willing to do much more violence to achieve the ultimate goal and Blackheart is continually reining in her violent tendencies. The Institute, it turns out, is researching all kinds of black magic, “just in case”, and Blackheart and Nimona expose the evil underbelly of the organization. There’s an interesting play between magic and science and chivalry and authority. Ultimately, Blackheart comes to care for Nimona, and he’s the one who’s able to save her and the city. If you’re interested, you can read the first few chapters online, since it was originally a webcomic.
Title comes from: The main character
Reading challenges fulfilled: 81/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge. I know it’s a graphic novel, but it’s totally long enough to count. In fact, I should really count all the graphic novels if I’m counting novellas as well.
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