Reading Level: All Ages
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Size: 144 pages
Publisher: Boom Entertainment
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 5th book in the Mouse Guard series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is the second book in the Legends of the Guard series by David Petersen. This book continues in the tradition of the first book. The book is full of a variety of short stories in graphic novel format, the majority of them feature adventures of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard.
Mice have gathered at the June Alley Inn for another chance at clearing their debt with the Inn by winning a contest to tell the best story possible. Storytellers feature a wide range of authors/artists such as Charles Paul Wilson III (from The Stuff of Legend), Bill Willingham (from Fables), and Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo). As with all of these anthologies the stories are hit and miss. However there are a lot more hits than misses in this collection.
I loved the art of the story “Leviathan” about a mouse who ends up on a journey in the sea. I also adored the art of the picture only story “Love at Sea” which tells the tale of a mer-mouse and a sailor. “The Mouse Generals” also had spectacular artwork paired with an intriguing story. “When Moles are Around” was a somewhat humorous tale about a mouse who befriends a mole. “The Veteran” was also very funny and my whole family laughed out loud at this ironic tale.
My favorite of the whole bunch was “The Thief, the Star-Gazer, the Hunter, and the Trailer”; I loved the fairy tale feel to this story and the illustration was stunning. I also loved how the issue of the princess marrying was resolved in such a peaceful way.
In between each story there are interludes by David Petersen in which the preceding story is discussed briefly and then the next mouse prepares to tell the next story. At the end (just like in the first book) June announces the winner (and one who will have debt forgiven).
The epilogue contains a bonus story along with detailed drawings of the Inn’s patrons and buildings. There is also a very nice section that goes through all of the authors/illustrators and gives a brief background for each; I always enjoy reading about the authors/illustrators and what other projects they have worked on.
My whole family read this book together. My seven year old son is a huge fan of the Mouse Guard series (as am I). I get these books for him as gifts and then we read them together.
Overall this was another excellent collection of Mouse Guard stories by various authors. There is a vast variety of styles and stories throughout. All of them touch on the themes important to the Mouse Guard; honor, adventure, family, and love. Highly recommended to fans of fantasy graphic novels. Great for all ages.