A dying sun, four cosmic swords, and a young girl determined to become a warrior in the name of vengeance. In The Swords Of Glass (Les Épées de Verre), an alternate world fantasy by Sylviane Corgiat and Laura Zuccheri, the rich rule over the weak, killing the poor and stealing women. But with the waters rising and the weather becoming more and more extreme, even the privileged find themselves locked in ivory towers to escape the solar wrath.
The last ten years has been a busy time for Corgiat, an award-winning fantasy and science fiction writer in her native France, with Elias Le Maudit (Elias the Cursed) and Lune d’Ombre (Shadow Moon) winning acclaim. But it is Italy-born Zuccheri’s ethereal and delicate work that makes The Swords of Glass an unmissable treat; it’s also the work that won her The Grand Guinigi Award for Best Art at the Lucca Festival.
This oversized deluxe edition collects all four books in the series: Yama, Ilango, Tigran, and Dolmon. The four chapters correspond to the four swords that Yama, a young village girl, must find. In a Conan the Barbarian type intro, the world that she knows is stolen from her, driving her to a life of fervent training in the name of vengeance. Luckily for Yama, she just happens to have been chosen by the sword that fell near her home, and lies embedded in rock, awaiting her command.
It’s a story with a timely environmental angle, where vast cities dominate the page, sporting expert architecture and a theatrical array of superb costumes with shades of Japanese culture and Moebius as influences. But the sheer beauty of this natural world elevates the tale into something special.
Dense, lush forests with strange creatures, spectacularly lit giant humanoid creatures striding across the dusky horizon, endless fields of green that a pig-tiger pet lopes across, even a cute monkey-like critter ably scampering up brickwork… it is rare to find an artist so comfortable with both depicting such disparate scenes and striking character designs. There is something nostalgic and yet progressive about Zuccheri’s art as she depict Corgiat’s imaginative world; the graphic novel is a pleasure to return to countless times.
The Swords of Glass (9781594651090) comes out on March 4th from Humanoids, Inc.
Note: The pages in this preview are not consecutive.