Frantz introduces readers to a world of spirits suffused in tension and magic in her debut solo graphic novel.
The citadel is a tightly guarded spirit fortress. The world outside is full of chaotic human unrest. Between them stands the chancellor—a cloaked figure whose face is perpetually hidden in the shadows of a hood. Sometimes called a witch, sometimes a “window walker,” the chancellor’s true identity is unknown. Her powers are all but limitless, to the benefit of those she protects and the detriment of those who threaten her and her people. But that kind of power comes at a cost; it breeds fear among those who don’t understand it, and innumerable atrocities have been committed in the name of fear. Frantz immerses readers in a world that feels so much bigger than the brief glimpse readers get here they will dearly hope for more. It is no small talent to so effectively deploy the unknown and the unseen in a narrative to create such visual and textual richness. Even with an inviting and masterfully paced art style, the exploration of violence begetting violence cannot help but be heavy, but the added questions of magical powers, the origin of a city of spirits, and the chancellor’s role in it all break up the density. The world Frantz creates is a racially diverse one.
Just try to put it down. (Fantasy. 10-14)