Known kid’s and young adult author, Jane Yolen, teams up with artist Rebecca Guay to present a beautiful and captivating graphic novel story. Two centuries ago the dragons were driven away from the Islands of May, or killed off, but there is one left who has now been awoken and is ravaging the towns, killing the people, with no hope of stopping the giant lizard. It is up to an unlikely character: the healer has gone missing, presumed dead, in search of the dragon, and the healer’s daughter vows to avenge his death. Meanwhile messengers are sent out to explore the lands for a true hero, one who can slay the dragon. Some are found, but proved cowards, until the last who is just the sort of hero they’re looking for; only the man seems to be more of bluster and talk than of actual skill, strength and prowess. The healer’s daughter and the supposed hero join forces, using their abilities and intelligence to come up with a way to defeat the dragon involving a most unusual and giant sized kite.
The art of The Last Dragon is enchanting, in the style of Neil Gaiman’s and Charles Vess’ Stardust, that has the classic feel of a beautifully illustrated story tale, combined with the moving story and some interesting characters that would never be brought together if it weren’t for the events of the story. The Last Dragon is a great book to read to and show to children, as well as to be enjoyed by anyone who’s a fan of the fantasy genre.
Vampires and zombies continue to be incredibly popular, and after editing a collection of zombie stories inLiving Dead, John Joseph Adams now turns to the tale of the vampire in By Blood We Live. Featuring stories from Stephen King to Neil Gaiman to Kelley Armstrong to Jane Yolen; after reading this book you’ll either be sick of the blood-sucking fiends or be stocking up on garlic and crosses.
The collection kicks off with Neil Gaiman’s twisted tale of Snow White moving on to the only short story Anne Rice has published, “The Master of Rampling Gate.” The book features thirty-six vampire stories including writers like Robert J. Sawyer, Garth Nix, and Eric Van Lustbader: writer’s you wouldn’t expect to be in this collection. It runs the gamut from the terrifying to the romantic to the steamy to the outlandish to the science fiction type. One of the most disturbing stories is from Harry Turtledove, “Under St. Peter’s,” as a newly elected pope must perform a sacred ritual under the gaze of an unknown order, where they travel deep beneath the Vatican and find a man waiting there, a man who has been there for a very long time, a man we all know very well . . . and he’s hungry for blood.
While overall readers may realize that there are only so many ways to tell a vampire story and that some featured in this collection may seem similar and somewhat mundane, By Blood We Live gives readers a chance to get their fill on these denizens of the night, as well as discovering a number of new authors they may never have planned to read.
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