Advance Review: Sparrowhawk #1 is a great start to a wicked fairy tale.

Sparrowhawk #1
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Art by Matias Basla
Published by Boom! Studios
In stores 10/3/18

The set up for Sparrowhawk isn’t a particularly new one: girl gets sent to a crazy world full of magical creatures. The 1st creature she comes into contact with is even a cat of some kind.

But it’s not the big strokes that make Sparrowhawk great, it’s the specific takes. Artemisia has a mysterious background that we only get hints about, but it clearly informs who she is as a person. It also makes her predicament in her world all the worse…at least until she pulled into the other world.

And that’s where this book really shines, in the faerie world. The cat creature’s price for helping Artemisia is wonderfully twisted and I’m hoping we come back around to it before the series is over.

Then there’s the issue of how Artemisia can get home. While circumstances for her hand initially, Artemisia is facing a moral dilemma that should carry through the series. It’s an interesting take on how magic works, but it’s also a statement about how outside forces can impact closed environment. Artemisia is going to make a mark on the faerie realm, the question is how big that mark will be and whether or not she can live with herself afterwards.

Her counterpart has no such qualms as she intends to do damage to “our” world. But does it matter if they both alter their opposing worlds?

And consider that the Unseelie Queen will mostly likely destroy the systems that have kept Artemisia oppressed her entire life, albeit as a stepping stone to taking over the world. She’s a bad person doing a good thing for a bad reason. Artemisia will ultimately be a good person doing bad things for a good reason.

I’m looking forward to see how Artemisia evolves over the course of the series. She’s already shown herself to be extremely tough, but she’s a long way from getting back home and I don’t know what lengths she’ll have to go to get there.

For as much as I enjoyed this issue, there is one very simple reason to give this book a shot: it looks amazing.

Matias Basla’s art looks like a melding of P. Craig Russel and Eduardo Risso, creating both a sense of magical realism yet blending it with an undercurrent of the sinister.

Interesting characters and setting, beautiful artwork — Sparrowhawk deserves your attention.

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