Orphan Henrietta Achilles inherits a magical house in this action-packed graphic novel.
A war 9 years ago left Henrietta an orphan, so she’s surprised when Renault, a gentleman in a top hat, takes her on a carriage ride to the mysterious town of Malrenard. She learns she’s the last living relative of an uncle she never met—and he’s died and left her an estate with treasure allegedly hidden all over the house. Upon arriving, Henrietta quickly gets pulled into a battle with two groups racing to search for a secret vault hidden inside the house. Cannons boom and swords flash, and dashing blond bandit Nate Flemming and his crew come to Henrietta’s rescue. Humor abounds with witty banter, quiche thievery, alienlike creatures riding giant rats, and unexpectedly helpful stone statues that give either directions or riddles. Henrietta’s hesitant to share that she’s the owner of the estate—and when she’s captured by the rival crew, they laugh at her and lock her in a cupboard. The plot is heavy with setup and brief introductions to numerous characters, laying the foundation for the mysteries of the estate to be revealed in future installments. Pawlitza’s breathtaking illustrations of the skyscraper-sized house will delight while darker, claustrophobic scenes provide a nice emotional balance. Renault is black, and the majority of the cast appears to be white.
An entertaining adventure. (quiche recipe) (Graphic fantasy. 12-18)