Once & Future Vol. 4: Monarchies in the U.K.

by Kieron Gillen | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 9781684158294 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/30/2022
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, May 30, 2022
I enjoyed Volume 1 of this series, and picked up this volume at Barnes and Noble - hoping I didn't miss too much in the intervening volumes!

Later: I enjoyed this one too, though I did get some help in the "what's going on here" aspect from the writeups in the TV Tropes page (see link below) - though that does involve spoilers, so read at your own risk.

Here, feisty old-lady monster-hunter Bridgette, her hunky but a bit too pacifistic for this setting granson Duncan, and love-interest/badass Rose are attempting to survive in a Britain that's been completely given over to the supernatural realm - thanks to its Prime Minister revealing the Masquerade to the entire populace in a previous volume. Now, all the creatures of legend can roam pretty much at will, and there are several different legendary "Arthurs" who are each convinced they're the one and only, and will cheerfully destroy anyone who opposes them.

More witty banter in the face of almost-certain doom, plus loads of amazingly drawn panels - with monsters including the "don't say the f-word or you'll just draw them to you" fairies, vicious insectlike beings who reminded me a lot of the ones in Terry Pratchett's Discworld setting. Oh, and a male Medusa, based on a real-world carving in Bath; this one's utterly terrifying and absolutely marvelous. (I loved the way that the other-realm Bath contained so many layers, from Roman and pre-Roman myths through Saxon times and into the Regency era; pity we didn't get to spend more time there before fleeing for our lives. Again.)

In other parts of the story, Bridgette and co. manage to save a handful of normals - some of them quite elderly - taking them to possibly-sorta-safe shelter in the family home (now the Grail Castle). And then they leave them there to go off on yet another quest, with lots of index cards from Bridgette telling them how to combat the foes that might show up. This is both hilarious and terrifying when a booming "I smell the blood of Anglo-Saxon men" is heard from a towering giant (the "fee fi fo fum" is implied but not shown {wry grin}). There actually is a helpful hint from Bridgette about this, but it involves making a deal with the don't-say-fairies; the result demonstrates the ways in which this world not only runs on stories but will make use of even the most tenuous connections to story elements to make things happen.

Among the delightful surprises: turns out William Shakespeare was one of the great monster-hunters, using his plays to craft new stories to bind and weaken foes. Oh, and as this book closes, our heroes have invoked the aid of an ancient power of the forest, one who might be both able and willing to combat the rival Arthurs. Or, as Bridgette puts it, "There's these crappy kings, and I think you're just the man to do something about it."

[There's a TV Tropes page on the series, with some entertaining tidbits.]

Released 1 yr ago (5/31/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library, Thornton Park in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this lovely day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

** Released for the 2022 May Royalty challenge. **

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