Finished: Dec. 12, 2011
First Published: 2009
Genre: children, graphic novel, fantasy
When the world was very, very new, and dreams had not yet receded from the waking day...
the first dragon was a queen named Mim.
Acquired: Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.
Reason for Reading: A prequel to the series, but the last book published in the series.
This was a really hard book to give a rating to. The story is written by Jeff Smith and the cover illustration is by him as well but once one opens up the book all familiarity is gone. The illustrations are by Charles Vess, who has a completely different style than Smith, and the font used is actually a little hard to read. I loved the story but did not like, at all, the illustrations, even though Vess won an award for them. I was not impressed as I started to read because of the change in illustration but as the book progressed the story won me over and I stopped thinking about the artwork, however my rating does reflect my opinion of both the text and illustrations.
On to the story, which was as wonderful as I could have expected. Though being a prequel, it was predictable as we already knew the outcome. This tells the story of when Rose and Briar were young princesses together training to become one of the Veni-Yan. It tells how Briar turned evil and how the Lord of the Locusts started his plan to escape his trap, as well as why and how the rat creatures broke their centuries old peace with the humans. An exciting story with lots of action, an insightful look back at Rose's (Gran'ma Ben) background and her early history with Lucius. I enjoyed the story and the familiar faces (though there were no Bones) very much, but the illustrations did put a damper on it for me.