Sunday, February 15, 2009

Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics

This second collected volume of Courtney Crumrin (graphic novel) tales sees Courtney beginning to settle into her new life. If she hasn't made friends at her new school, at least she's figured out how to get along without making too many waves. She and her uncle have formed a friendship - and he's even teaching her from his many books of magic.

Then her teacher reveals a few surprises, leaving Courtney feeling rather bewildered and resentful. Courtney also discovers mysterious events afoot that her uncle seems determined to prevent her from learning about. Of course, Courtney being Courtney, she ignores him and investigates on her own, discovering a truly horrific being that has all the other wizards in town cowering in fear. The monster, she learns, has an easily understandable, straightforward sort of evil nature; this does not prove to be the case with some of the so-called "normal" humans around her, unfortunately. This volume also sees her venturing forth on a nighttime adventure in cat form in a delightful chapter that reminded me a bit of Charles de Lint's compelling tale, A Circle of Cats. I loved her cute cat shape!
This volume in the series is a bit darker than the first, but it maintains the same quirky humor and evocative artwork. Life is not easy for Courtney. She has tough decisions to make, and things don't always turn out right; sometimes they're downright heartbreaking. But not to worry - Courtney is a tough, determined little girl, and she is unafraid to take justice into her own hands, which leaves the reader to ponder the moral ambiguity of her actions. This is a delightful, thought-provoking series, and I'm very much looking forward to spending more time with Courtney in future installments.

Books in the Courtney Crumrin series
1. Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things
2. Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics
3. Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom
4. Courtney Crumin's Monstrous Holiday

And also:
Courtney Crumrin Tales: Portrait of the Warlock as a Young Man
Courtney Crumrin and the Fire Thief's Tale
Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere

Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics (#2 in the Courtney Crumrin series) by Ted Naifeh (Oni Press, 2003)


  1. I'm happy with darker :P I really look forward to reading this series.

  2. Sounds like a very good series!

  3. Nymeth - I think it's the darker direction that has me hooked to see what happens next. If each episode tied up neatly and happily, it wouldn't be nearly as compelling. I have #3 on my tbr mountain now.

    Ladytink - it is so far, and I have high hopes for the rest. :-)

  4. I'm just getting into graphic novels lately, and that's through the form of Manga. In fact, you are the person who inspired me to pick it up when you asked (long ago) if it would qualify for a Japanese Literature Challenge read. I loved reading the books backwards and from right to left!

  5. Bellezza - I remember that! I'm glad you are reading manga now - it's lots of fun, isn't it? I love the different culture and sensibility present in manga - it is interesting and refreshing. In fact, I need to start reading some for Rhinoa's manga challenge!

  6. I can't wait to start this series. I love his artwork on Gloom Cookie and The Good Neighbours. Like Nymeth I like the darker tales.

  7. Rhinoa - I hadn't realized (or I'd forgotten) that he did the artwork for The Good Neighbors - I have that on my tbr pile right now. Another reason to bump it up a notch!


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