Barbarian Lord

Matt Smith. Clarion, $17.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-547-85906-4
He may look like a musclebound lug who takes his style cues from Conan the Barbarian, but when it's time to wax poetic, Barbarian Lord shows he has brains to match his brawn. After sorcery and skullduggery drive him from his native Garmrland, Barbarian Lord journeys to the kingdom of Krigsland and earns the chieftain's favor with awesome displays of violence and verbiage. He returns with a mean-looking posse and delivers swift and permanent retribution. Indeed, battle is what Barbarian Lord does best, and whether he's exchanging blows with a troll or insults with a skull-headed bard ("Men will sing for ages beyond count of all your deeds... empty as your sockets, barren as your skull"), he proves an unrivaled warrior and wordsmith. Smith (who illustrated the graphic novel adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux) weaves lore and laughs into this bombastic saga; thanks to his dynamic art (the lack of color is but a slight disappointment) and cinematic staging, seeing his hero conquer every challenge that stands in his way never gets old. All hail Barbarian Lord! Ages 12–up. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/21/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-547-85914-9
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