Saturday, April 11, 2009

Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom

Courtney Crumrin is back in this third volume of her adventures. The book opens as she returns to her old neighborhood, where she lived with her parents before they were invited to move to the huge old Victorian house in another town and live with her eccentric old uncle. Her parents have been unable to sell their old house, and while they are wheeling and dealing, Courtney hooks up with her old best friend. Being with him makes him realize how much things have changed for her - and how the decisions she has made, for better or worse, have changed her life.

Things are still not easy for her - particularly now, as a rift has formed between her and Uncle Aloysius following the events that occured at the close of the previous book. As if that weren't bad enough, she must now attend "Saturday School" with other magically gifted children. She quickly discovers that she doesn't fit in any better there than at regular school. When a curse one of the other students casts, just to show off, has disastrous consequences, Courtney feels obliged to help fix the situation, even though it means returning to the very dangerous Twilight Kingdom.

In previous volumes, Courtney has taken some rather ruthless steps to see that justice (as she sees it) is served - edging very close to the darkest side of the magical world. Here she is thrust into a new position of responsibility, and it is fascinating to see her maneuver through these new demands and ethical choices. She has been on her own, for the most part, in the previous volumes, but now she is with - gasp - some...could they actually be friends?

This is fast becoming one of my favorite graphic novel series. I love the dark humor, the striking illustrations, the moral ambiguity that is explored throughout, and most of all, smart, feisty, no-nonsense Courtney, whose character is further developed in each volume of this compelling series.

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 in the Twilight Kingdom (#3 in the Courtney Crumrin graphic novel series) by Ted Naifeh (Oni Press, 2004)

Have you reviewed this book? Please leave a link in the comments to your review, and I'll link to it here.


  1. Good heavens there are a lot of these books.

    You've piqued my curiosity once more. I am not generally a graphic novel fan, but these look interesting and like I might like them.

    I'll have to check if my comic book shop has them next time I'm there to pick up my Buffy comic...

  2. Cat - I'll be interested to hear what you think if you give the series a try. I am a big Buffy fan, but I've never read any of the comics. I should probably give those a try, too, one of these days!

  3. I really want to read this series, but the library doesn't have it. Or, if they do they have book two and not book 1. Something strange like that! It sounds good, though!

  4. Kailana - You might try asking them to order the others. Often the first books in a series (particularly manga, which tend to fall apart so quickly) fall apart because they've been on the shelf the longest, and no one notices. If they have subsequent books, they may be willing to re-order the earlier ones. At least we do here at my library. Our website has a link for book recommendations - maybe yours does too? Apparently we get tons of recommendations at our collection management offices and really try to buy what we can.

  5. I love is artwork (he did Kin for Holly Black and the first Gloom Cookie which I loved) and I went out and bought the first 3 after your first review! I am really looking forward to reading them this year and am glad to see they remain fabulous.

  6. Rhinoa - Oh, I hope you like them after spending money on them - gulp! I do think you will, though. My library does not own Gloom Cookie, grrr. I think I'll have to buy them!

  7. I am a big fan of these books. Both the art and the story are so well done. My only complaint at all is that I wish he would put out the stories faster! :)

  8. I need to remember to write this down because the last time I was in the store I was wandering aimlessly trying to find it - couldn't remember the title! Oops.

  9. Sorry about that, Cat - maybe next time! Did you find something good in your wanderings?


    When I went to pick up my Buffy comic today I finally remembered to look for this series - they didn't have the first 2 - but they had this one and I bought it and just read it cover to cover! I put the first 2 on order...

    Anyhow THANK YOU! I loved this! I am so happy you read it and wrote about it. Courtney is adorable as are the goblin things. Can't wait to read books 1 & 2!

  11. Cat - Oh, I'm so pleased you love it too! My library has not ordered any of the other books, so it looks like I'm going to have to buy them for myself. She is such a great little heroine. I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts as you read them. :-)


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