Reading level: All Ages
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Size: 200 pages
Release Date: March 25, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone; also part of Mouse Guard Universe
Rating: 5/5 stars
I picked up a copy of this book at the used book store. I had been wanting to read this series forever and thought my 5 year old son would also enjoy it. It was very well done; both the story and the illustration was top notch.
Mice struggle to survive with the tangle of predators around. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed. The Mouse Guard guard the paths between villages to ensure that mice can travel safely. When a merchant mouse goes missing Kenzie, Lieam, and Saxon are sent out to find what happened. What they find goes beyond a simple case of a mouse getting injured or lost; looks like there may be a traitor in their ranks.
This is a very well done story. The illustrations are wonderful; very detailed and they add a lot to the story, making it easier to follow. Very classic fantasy type drawings; muted colors, very finished, with lots of detail.
The plot is intricate and well done. There is action, adventure, and intrigue. There are legends that appear in the story with the Black Ax hero, traitors, huge predators that attack, and battles that take place. It is a fairly epic story. At points it reminds of a mouse version of other classic fantasies like Lord of the Rings or Secret of Nihm. All the mice have excellent character backgrounds and are well fleshed out.
The book is appropriate for all ages. Although at one point one of the mice does get captured and hurt for information; it never gets too graphic. There are also battle scenes. My son, who is five, enjoyed it immensely. We read a chapter each night and he really looked forward to it. I don’t think he understood all of the politics and intrigue that were happening, but he got the main story.
Overall an absolutely excellent read for all ages. The illustrations are gorgeous full of muted colors, warm browns and golds, and incredible detail. The plot is complex and interesting and the characters are well fleshed out. The story will remind of classic fantasy reads such as the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy graphic novels or just for fans of classic fantasy in general.