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This second volume of the Shades of Magic graphic novels by V. E. Schwab follows Maxim taking on the challenges of the Night of Knives to earn the respect of his troops, and it is a great complement to the main series.
I loved the suspense of each trial and the thrill that comes with the idea that no one has ever made it out of all four alive. It is also interesting how we get to see a different side of Maxim as he is forced to face his weaknesses. He has developed quite a bit since the first volume.
❀ STUNNING ARTWORK
As well, the art in the graphic novels is as stunning as ever. I love the way the fight scenes are depicted and how magic is illustrated. I found the colours to be especially evocative. Although I have yet to pick up the Shades of Magic series, these graphic novels have gotten me excited to do so very soon.
The second volume of the Shades of Magic graphic novels is once again filled with action scenes because now, Prince Maxim has to prove himself to his soldiers by completing 4 trials called The Night of the Knives.
The thing is, nobody has ever come alive out of the fourth trial. Most people give in at the second one, and even the bravest survivors, had only completed 3 of them. But Maxim is a proud prince, and he will do whatever it takes to gain the respect of his fellow soldiers. Like he says, “Anyone can be born a prince, but no one is born leader.”
Now, what I really love about this volume was that we got to see another antari but most importantly, that through the challenges, we see how Maxim grows into a more mature prince, someone who can actually fight and lead. I think that going against his own demons and fears is what makes him not only a better prince, but a person too.
The magic system is still one of my favorite ones among fantasy books and the fact that is not limited to four elements but others too, is still very impressive! On top of that, the illustrator work really gets you into the story because it’s a beautiful portrayal of the Red London I love so much. Truth is, these graphic novels go along perfectly with the original trilogy and I must admit that it made me want to re-read them as soon as I get the collector editions.
Last but not least, I’m really excited for the last volume! I’m glad that Schwab is working along with these amazing illustrators, because the format makes it a lot better!