“Intricate and detailed, with a definite manga influence, Takeda’s artwork creates a lush and dangerous world for Liu’s equally dangerous characters. The work is infused with feminist themes; almost all of the characters are strong―and deadly―women.”


First things first, this book is a gorgeous work of art, every single page is a feast for the eyes. Sana Takeda’s illustrations are full of intricate details and have an art deco feel that really helps to bring the world of Marjorie Lu’s imagination to life for the reader.

Every comic book of course has two main components, story and art. I’ve already said that the artwork is spectacular, but so too is the story. Liu has managed to create a complex alternative world for our heroine Maika, a mysterious young woman who is much more than she seems.

Seeking vengeance for her dead mother, she must face the Cumea, an order of magical beings who are killing off members of her race, the Archanics, for the life force they possess. Maika’s quest takes something of a detour when she finds that she is harbouring the life force of an ancient power, something which will make her more valuable and more dangerous to her enemies.

This book is the first arc in an ongoing series, and it shows much promise. There are moments of darkness and despair but also of strength and hope for the future.

The imagery in the book is uncompromising in its depiction of the cruelty and hardship of war, and its effects on the most innocent, but there are also stunningly detailed panels that can only be described as hauntingly beautiful . Overall I loved it, and can’t wait to read more.


Reviewed by:

Annette Jordan

Added 21st February 2020

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Annette Jordan