Tower of Treasure (Three Thieves #1)
Graphic novels must weave picture and text together into a seamless whole, each complimenting and yet not distracting from the other. In this, Tower of Treasure succeeds very well. The style nods to manga and yet locates itself very well within its Renaissance Faire-esque universe. It has a bright, but complex palette and, especially in the second half of the book, an overall moody darkness that suggests danger and menace without ever getting truly disturbing, something younger readers are likely to appreciate. There are numerous charming touches as well: Fisks elephant-like feet and the piratical gold hoop in Toppers elfin ear; Dessas huge sleeves and tousled red hair; Captain Drakes stern, yet fair face above his enormous shoulders; the fat queens flabby jowls and the evil chamberlains floating eyebrow, not to mention the mad-inventor goggles hanging almost unnoticed around his neck.
In addition, the graphic novel format well suits the classic, heroic tale it tells of a courageous, resourceful girl and her sometimes comic companions confronting (and hopefully, in the end, defeating) a cruel, calculating villain. Of course, to find out what really happens, well have to wait for the next two volumes in the series. Like Dessa says, as she walks off into the sunrise, Weve got a long trip ahead of us. Goody!