Capt. Quirk and his company continue their mission of exploration for the Crutonian crown.
Picking up where Into the Outlands (2016) left off (and summarizing that tale nicely in the first couple pages), Tale 2 finds that the well-meaning Capt. Quenterindy Quirk and his multispecies (and quite Muppet-y–looking) crew have escaped the insane sorceress Hukka. They are working to map the land and catalog its fauna when they happen upon Hukka’s kindly sister Xulda and a lost (and, it turns out, traitorous) crew member. Quirk’s band again finds itself on the exploding end of Hukka’s magic spells as she searches for her lost love (whose death has unhinged her). Fleeing Hukka with Xulda’s help, the explorers stumble upon the “Lost Tribe of Keldorra”—which has a deadly desire to remain that way. Childhood friends Christie and Lang continue the fantastical tales of the Crutonians they started as kids. The characters’ names are as whackadoodle as might be expected given their origins, but the adventure is entertaining. If the interrogation of the clash between “civilized” Crutonians and “superstitious” Keldorrans is, at best, shallow, the characters (both Quirk’s crew and the Keldorrans) and how they interact are complex…for a troupe that appears to have escaped from a Saturday-morning cartoon.
The ominous cliffhanger end presages a third volume that fans will want ASAP. (dramatis personae) (Graphic fantasy. 7-11)