Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince Issue #1 by V.E. Schwab
Publication: October 10th, 2018
The acclaimed fantasy phenomenon comes to comics with a new prequel story from award-winning creator and New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab! In a gaslamp world where magicians navigate alternate Londons, the prince of Red London pursues a dark version of his beloved city – and faces worse than exile…
Add on: Goodreads
This is going to be a short review since this is a comic review on each issue and not the full bind up that is coming in April of 2019. The comic is short like many comics so obviously, this won’t be as long. This is a prequel comic series to the original Shades of Magic trilogy starting Kell, Rhy, Lila, Alucard, and Holland. This series is about Rhy’s parents but namely his father Maxim Maresh and how he got the name, Steel Prince. This issue was just a start to what will clearly be an amazing series. I don’t know how many volumes Schwab has planned but I can see this going for quite some time. Maxim has been banished to a lawless city called Verose, the Blood Coast, by his father, King Nokil Maresh because he wants to teach him a lesson. While there, Maxim gets into a few scrimmages. We meet Isra, who we met in A Conjuring of Light, a city guard so, I assume we will see how she became the royal guard. This issue ends with a slight cliffhanger because the newly returned Pirate Queen is apparently back. I enjoyed this a lot. It is quick and easy to read. I had to get used to how comic books layout their plot and how to read the voices of each person but I got it quickly. The art inside and all four cover variants are gorgeous. I can’t wait for issue # 2-4 and I am excited to buy the bind up as well. I think this will be a great series and I am so happy she did it as a comic.
Maxim is a young prince in red London looking for forbidden magic. He is headstrong and we see here where he gets his love for his people. He doesn’t give up easily and he is intense. We also got to see a bit of a funnier side to him which we don’t get to see when he is King and a strict dad lol. Everyone else is a side character but his dad Nokil is strict and clearly someone set in his ways. Isra is a city guard who knows how to fight and protects her own. I think from the little we saw of the Pirate Queen we are in for a treat with the antagonist. Most of the characters were POC which is really nice and Victoria has always been good with diversity in her characters.
As always, the writing is good. Even in comic book form, Victoria pulls me into her worlds. And in this medium, we get to see the scenes in all their glory so, we really get to step into this world. The world which Maxim lives is dark, raw, gritty and about to get very dangerous. I love how she added the history of the four Londons at the beginning to draw us back into the Shades of Magic universe. No matter where she writes, Miss Victoria Schwab does it right.
My father wishes to put me in my place by casting me out of it. Thrusting me into deep water. I will show him how far I can swim.