[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Written By: Thomas Day
Art By: Oliver Ledroit
Letters By: Jessica Burton
Review By: Kendra Hale
To say that this massive 233 page mammoth of a book is not a lot to take in would be lying. Wika is not only the name of the book itself, but also our main protagonist. It is a saga of a story to say the least as readers follow through the life of this young fairy on her quest to fulfill her destiny and set the world of Pan back to the balance it needs. There are familiar elements and daring visuals abound as the reader is shown through Pan.
There is a LOT to discuss and I will try to keep it as brief as possible because with so much work being put into it, Wika certainly deserves for you to give it your own opinions after the experience. Let’s dive in.
If We Shadows Have Offended
In an era of magic, Titania and her husband Claymore are preparing their people, and themselves, for battle. As Duke and Duchess of the Castle Grimm they are trying to protect their people from a close enemy, Titania’s twin brother Oberon. Above all, their most important thing to protect is their daughter Wika, who the wolf queen Rowena has her eyes and maw on.
Given to the care of the Haggis, the axe bearer, Titania entrusts him with her most precious daughter. She tells Haggis to get her out of the Castle and to get far away, as she knows between Rowena and Oberon, there is no hope for her or her husband. However, both sides of this fight do not walk away unscathed.
Think But This, And All Is Mended
Wika is stripped of her fairy wings for her own safety and left with elves in order to keep her hidden from Oberon. From there the story moves forward and gives us the adventure from many aspects of Wika’s life. We watch as she deals with first love and first heartbreak and struggles with who she is and where she comes from. Along the way she meets both friend and foe on her path to set things right and remove the foul Oberon from his throne where magic is seen as a sentence for death and technology is becoming the new norm.
The feeling of Wika will be quite familiar to some readers as can be seen from my captions. A Midsummer’s Night Dream was very prevalent as I read this, but this is nothing like the play. Thomas Day has written a world with a vast array of characters, each of them explored in detail and given their own story. Oliver Ledroit has done the detailed writing justice by also giving explosive detail to the words.
Between these two, the attention to detail brings the world to life, and with Jessica Burton’s letters we get the full scope of the world of Pan and the story of Wika. There are several beautiful full page spreads, one of my favorites being pages 169 and 170. Seeing an artist lay out their talents is something magical in itself.
One of my favorite moments is when Wika is receiving gifts after she has passed through one of several hard trials. The gift I am referring to? A vibrating rubber duck…for those lonely nights. This was so random and absurd in the midst of all this seriousness. Given the overall tone of the book, it was the perfect time for mischief and humor.
The array of characters is sometimes overwhelming. But the story unfolding the way it does gives us time to pause and actually meet the characters. To have a bit of understanding of who they are and what parts they have to play in the tome.
When it comes to Negative aspects of this book there are two things that spring to mind. These are both from a personal point of view. The first is the font that is used for all of the talking. At two points while reading the 233 pages, I had to step back as my eyes were hurting while trying to read it. The scratchy and close font certainly give us a tone to the world but it was rough after 50 or so pages.
The second is the extreme level of detail. On one hand, it is gorgeous and, like stated above, really grants the artist the chance to show off what he can do with something small as well as large. But on the other hand it can detract a bit from the experience of the reader as you are trying to figure out where to look while reading.
Wika is made up of many themes and styles. You have steampunk technology, as well as fantastical magic, both dark and light. It is an arduous journey for our main character full of robust and well rounded characters. I cherished the journey and enjoyed the twists and turns. As well as the opening for further tales to come from the land of Pan. If you are looking for something unique and lovely, an adventure that will stay with you…this is it.
Images May Be Subject To Copyright.