This was the last book added to my books spreadsheet. I read this one to Max about a month ago. It’s a strange one, but Max was into it. The art seems vaguely reminiscent of Paul Pope, though cleaner and less ugly.
This book has a lot going on. A somewhat evil magical woman/necromancer, zombies, a giant bear thing, a terrifying cat beast, honey, swords, flashbacks, a very localized apocalypse.
This princess goes wandering off into the wilderness to prove herself in an attempt to convince another long lost tribe to join with hers. She arrives, only to find that this other tribe has been destroyed, with only one young man and a not-very-old woman remaining. Stuff happens, and the source of the destruction is revealed. The author does a nice job of steering away from a simplistic good and evil stance, while exploring the messiness and damage that history and family set, almost as traps, for younger generations. Ignorance of that past history, either though denial or loss, can leave the young baffled and bewildered as they struggle to make sense of the world.
Pretty complicated themes for a kid’s book, and it didn’t pull any punches, but Max stayed right with it, asking insightful questions the whole way. I watch him grappling with the world, and his place in it, and I think how confusing it must be, this whole wide world of ours, with all its weird, wonderful, terrible messiness. I can only hope that I’m clearing the fog away a little.