cover image Hakim’s Odyssey, Book 3: From Macedonia to France

Hakim’s Odyssey, Book 3: From Macedonia to France

Fabien Toulmé, trans. from the French by Hannah Chute. Graphic Mundi, $29.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-63779-031-1

Syrian refugee Hakim takes an excruciating, impossible-seeming journey to reunite with his family in France in the fraught final volume of comics journalist Toulmé’s keenly reported saga of the refugee crisis (following From Turkey to Greece). Hakim, who fled Syria during its civil war, takes a dangerous, makeshift route to France since bureaucratic red tape kept him from joining his family there legally. But once in Europe, Hakim has to choose his path carefully: from Macedonia, the only affordable option is through Hungary, a country that’s hostile to migrants and where Hakim might be forced to “register” as an asylum seeker and be confined to a camp, which would prevent him from applying for asylum in other more favorable nations. Reluctantly, Hakim decides to take his chances. While it’s clear early in this trilogy that Hakim will land in France, the hurdles he faces make his success feel like a miracle. Toulmé’s affecting storytelling depicts the vast differences of each country’s treatment of migrants, as well as the Kafkaesque maze many ordinary people fleeing hardships face. Series fans will appreciate this thoughtful conclusion, and the completed trilogy should gain a wider readership as well as ready adoption into schools or reading groups. (Oct.)