Reading Level: All Ages
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Length: 192 pages
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd volume in the Mouse Guard series
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is the third book in the Mouse Guard series, it was wonderfully done and answers a lot of questions about the legend of the Black Axe. This is full of beautiful illustrations and wonderful details. I would recommend for middle grade and older, my seven year old son had a bit of trouble with some of the words and some of the more complicated story threads.
This was an excellent story in the Mouse Guard series. It is a prequel to the Mouse Guard series and is set in the year 1115. Celanawe finally tells the tale of how he came to obtain the Black Axe, which is both a mysterious weapon and a legendary figure that has featured throughout this series. During Celanawe’s adventure he slowly unravels the legend of Farrer, the blacksmith who forged the Black Axe.
If was fun to finally get the whole story behind this legendary figure/weapon. Celanawe is just a normal mouse in the Mouse Guard when an old relative arrives at his door requesting that he accompany her on a quest to find out what happened to the Black Axe. She has a note from Celanawe’s Matriarch Bronwyn confirming her tale and Bronwyn’s wish for Celanawe to help her.
What follows is a wonderful adventure over land and sea where the mice confront traditional enemies and find a far off kingdom with an enemy who needs their help. Celanawe’s involvement with the Black Axe is revealed and the legend behind this mythical weapon slowly comes to light. The story comes full circle back to Lieam and his decision to take up the Black Axe.
The drawings are stunning and the story is detailed and engrossing. I have been reading all the Mouse Guard books with my 7 year old son and we really enjoy them. Sometimes the story does get a bit complex for him and we spend a lot of time talking about new words that he doesn’t know yet.
There is an epilogue involving Lieam as well. As with the previous books there is an extras section that shows you towns in more detail and delves further into the history of Mousekind and the legend of Farrer.
My only complaint is that the font that most of the story is told in is very loopy and artistic, and when reading this out loud to my son I had a bit of trouble reading the font. It is however very beautiful looking, it just takes a bit of concentration to figure out what some of the words say.
Overall this was a wonderful addition to the Mouse Guard series. There are wonderful full color drawings throughout and the story is epic. I love this series! Highly recommended to fans of fantasy graphic novels, or just fans of fantasy in general. Great for all ages.