In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers that fight off intruders, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden village to another.
The Guard patrol borders, find safeways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predatory infestation. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, three such Guardsmice, are dispatched to find a missing merchant mouse that never arrived at his destination.
Their search for the missing mouse reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard’s own ranks.
I’d not heard of the Mouse Guard before I picked this book up, but I was doing a little book shopping in York after visiting some friends (there’s a nice big Waterstones and a Borders) and it’d have been rude not to have a gander while I was there (at least that’s my excuse!) and in any case I was on the look out for a graphic novel to complete the graphic novels challenge with, and boy did I find one.
Lieum, Kenzie and Sazon, the three main Guard Mice of this story, set out on a routine missing mouse mission, and along the way, discover a plot to overthrow the town of Lockhaven and assassinate their queen, Gewndolyn.
The three, must rush back to Lockhaven and raise the alarm before the uprising can make it to the town gates, of course things don’t go to plan, and at various times all three are captured by the militia and must escape.
Originally issued as a six issue mini series, these are now brought together and each forms a section in his Eisner award winning collection.
The artwork is what first drew me to this book, it is absolutely gorgeous! Richly coloured and detailed every panel holds your attention and demands to be lingered over, and this is important as quite a bit of the story-telling is done with the artwork alone and it works brilliantly.
While these mice may appear cute, they certainly wouldn’t thank you for saying so, these are warrior mice, and can be seen early on as they fight one of their deadliest enemies, a snake – ruthlessly destroying it, and the eggs it was guarding.
While there is a feeling we have much to learn about the characters in future stories, the world the inhabit feels as fully formed as any I have come across, there is a real history lurking in the background, and this adds to the wonderful artwork, to create a wonderfully evocative atmosphere.
This book is well worth your time seeking out and spending some time with and did I mention the artwork?
Buy, Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152 at Amazon.
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