cover image Darkly She Goes

Darkly She Goes

Hubert and Vincent Mallié, trans. from the French by L. Benson. NBM, $29.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-68112-313-4

Hubert (Beauty) rewrites the familiar trope of a knight rescuing a princess in this alluring and mournful fable. Rogue warrior Arzhur, spurred on by the prophecies of three sinister witches with shadowy agendas, slays hideous monsters and saves the winsome and unearthly Islen from the Black Castle. But Islen’s existence turns out to be a threat to both their kingdoms. The malignant witches hope to restore the long-dead Queen Meliren—schemer, serpent woman, and Islen’s mother—to power. As Arzhur’s passion for Islen grows, the plot veers away from the expected happy ending and into an apocalyptic battle with devastating results all around. Far from saving the day, the knight is drawn deep into a morass of corrupt magic and broken love. Sublime fine line artwork by Mallié (Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief) handles figures and expressions with nuance that deepens character development. Coloring by Bruno Tatti complements with a range of earth tones that grounds the tale, lending a realism to the fantastic. Ardor burns bright but lights up past wounds in this elegant outing. (July)