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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Mouseguard: Fall 1152

Writer and artist: David Peterson
Publisher: Villard Books

What's it about?
Mouseguard is a series about a mouse civilisation. They have towns, artists, blacksmiths, and guardsmice who patrol outlying areas, act as guides, and protect citizen mice from predators,thieves and insurrectionists.

Fall 1152 is the first book and tells of a small group of three guardsmice charged with investigating a missing merchant. They then discover a plot to take over the chief mouse city.

What's good about it?
The drawings are rich and striking. The mouse world is beautifully designed and lovingly rendered. The characters are engaging and feel real. It is a thorough worldscape. If you like medieval-themed stories, animal stories, or fantasy with little magic, you'll like this.
Mouseguard has won Eisner and Harvey awards, these are the Oscars of the comics world.

What's bad about it?
This volume is told in six chapters of between twelve and twenty four pages each. This makes the pacing seem slow and jerky, although this could well be because I am not used to reading stories produced in this manner.

Most of the story is suitable for ten year olds, I'd guess, but one page is rather violent and I'd hesitate to give it to a child to read. Perhaps I am being too precious though. It's a better story for adults so perhaps check it before you give to kids.

What's the art like?
Peterson's depictions of the mice and their enemies are lovely. Each mouse has personality and no panel has wasted space. The details for the mice's environment is beautiful: just look at these leaves and the layout for each panel.
I find the artwork very appealing and it is the art which might attract kids to it. I can see it inspiring young artists to develop their style and practice more.

Other information
Price: £13.38 paperback, £17.60 hardback.
ISBN: 0345496868 Paperback

There are several Mouseguard books available, have a look on the website for more information. You can preview each of the books.

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