Graphic Novel Friday: The Stonekeeper's Curse, Book Two of Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet Series

The history of Fantasy is littered with the scattered remains of books that took their magic seriously but not their characters—or, more accurately, didn’t take life seriously. True fantasy classics, in any medium, reflect what we know about the real world: that it is a bittersweet place in which terrible things sometimes happen for no apparent reason. Further, imagination and creativity must be wedded to the personal, with actions having real consequences. Otherwise, we’re left with diaphanous eye candy that doesn’t remain in the reader’s memory. Artist and writer Kazu Kibuishi, editor of the Flight comics anthologies, seems to understand this truth--at least, its reflected in his Amulet series from Scholastic, a truly imaginative yet grounded fantasy story that has amazing potential. The second volume, The Stonekeeper's Curse, is just out now, but won't work for readers without context about the first volume, The Stonekeeper.

In the opening scene of The Stonekeeper, Emily and Navin’s father, David, dies in front of their eyes during a car accident. Two years later, the children and their mother, Kathy, move to an ancestral home because they can’t afford to live in their old house anymore. Silas Charnon, the children’s great-grandfather purportedly locked himself away in the house after the death of his wife and was never heard from again. Now, years later, Kathy is spirited away into a tunnel by a tentacled creature. The children race after her, only to find themselves in a strange underground land. In their attempts to find their mother, they encounter all manner of peculiar creatures and people. Elves, robots, and mysterious cloaked strangers make appearances, without these disparate elements seeming to clash.

Amuletcover

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