Book Review: Monstress Vol. 1-4

I finally went back and reread Montress vol. 1 and 2 to continue on to vol 3 and I love the series just as much now as I did when I read it the first time. Montress is set in a fantasy world where humans and fantasy creatures know as Arcanics live. Some Arcanics and their halfbreed children can pass as humans, many have animal characteristics that set them part. In the past there was a war between the Humans and the Arcanics but when the story stats the war has been over for several years. The story follows Miaka Halfwolf a young Arcanic woman who passes as a human attempting to find more information about her mother and what her mother was involved in as Miaka suspects that it will effect her future.

Miaka holds in herself the mind and form of one the the ancient demons that some worship as gods and she needs to figure out what she wants to do and her place in the world before others can stop her, kill her or use her.

The world of Montress is a matriarchal one based on 20th century Asia with the war between Arcanics and sorceresses being the main conflict that sets the back story for the rest of the series. The story starts with Maika trying to discover the secrets of her late mother, Moriko which is the focus of volume one as well as setting up the world. In volume two Maika’s quest takes her to the mysterious Isle of Bones and forces her to confront past and her future. Volume three focuses more on the demon the Miaka holds and its connection to her family. Finally, volume four which is the currently the last of the collected volumes, has Maika meeting with her father and finding out some information about a plan to restart the war.

These graphic novels are wonderfully illustrated and the story is told not just through the writing but also the art. Its no wonder this series has won multiple awards and is now one of my favorite graphic novel series.

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