“Fables, Volume 18: Cubs in Toyland” by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo, 2013)

Fables: Cubs in Toyland
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The Fables are back again in a new collected volume and up to plenty of antics.  Willingham is still putting the pieces together for the next big saga of Fables and the blossoming full story isn’t clear yet, but readers are having a lot of fun along the way with the different subplots.  Snow White and Bigby wolf have always known that one of their cubs was destined for a great role, and its seems like it’s been filled when Winter begins training for the role of the North Wind, but each cub has a prophecy and some are fulfilled in this 18th volume, Cubs in Toyland.

Therese is an easily confused child, and when she finds herself a toy boat that talks to her, she is more than gullible.  The cub is led on a journey to a river, where the toy boat enlarges to a real-sized one.  She hops on and is taken across a great ocean through storm and sea until she reaches an island of broken and discarded toys, the misfits of toy society who all have voices and personalities.  They want little in life but to have a new queen to love them.  Therese thinks she might be this person, but soon discovers there is no food on the island, and begins to starve, while the incessant toys turn her into a dark and twisted person as time passes.

Darien is the leader of the pack and has always known he is the hero and must do everything he can, no matter what he takes.  He follows the clues about his missing sister and crosses the great ocean to find this distant land of mutated toys and knows what he must do to save his sister.

Cubs in Toyland is a great stand-alone story of the Fables universe, exploring some of the roles that the cubs of Snow and Bigby are destined to fulfill, pushing and pulling on the emotions of the reader, as they are ultimately just children, even if they are fables.  Included in the collection is the story of Bufkin in the Land of Oz, illustrated by Shaw McManus.

Originally written on February 11, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Fables: Cubs in Toyland from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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