I really shouldn’t have worried about what I was going to encounter with this story. Although I couldn’t remember what it was about, I thought of it for nearly three years, so that has to mean something. It was great. I’ve forgotten how intriguingly matter-of-fact bandes dessinées can be.
Sortilèges, Sorcery in English, is the story of Princess Blanche D’Entremonde and her ascension to the throne. The King’s will appointed Blanche, not her brother, to succeed him, but others would not have it so. She was crowned early on, but she did not actively reign for long. Beginning with Gaspard–the man she ceased her liaisons with in order to remain loyal to her father’s will and, in turn, her kingdom–who sought revenge for being cast aside, the story ushers you through a veritable carnival of trickery, betrayal, false alliances, family drama, new loves, old flames, magic, and battlefield mayhem. It’s like a fantasy-styled caper, but instead of jewels, everyone’s after power.
Although the responsibility was thrust upon her, she took it seriously and was faithful to her duties. Just after the first attempt on her life, she came across a man in the forest. They had mysterious effect on each other, one that would persist throughout the story–more so on him than her. It was from their encounter that the web of connections–like 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon–began to reveal itself. Blanche may have been inexperienced, but her decisiveness, shrewdness, firm sense of herself and her purpose saw her through the fall of every last one of her enemies and the reclaiming of her throne.
I had a lot of fun reading this and I’m so glad that I was so far off about the story. The art was beautiful, the story was clever, funny, and engaging and it all came together flawlessly. My only wish was that there would have been more about how she continued her alliance with the one who helped her in the end.
requierobl replied: Sounds really interesting but I’m a bit traumatized by French.
If it ever gets an English release, I’ll let you know.
Spanish was easier when I first learned it back in high school; I was really good at communicating in writing, but I never had anyone to practice it with (that’s my fault though), so now it’s just confusing. French, I never really studied, but both my mother and best friend speak it, so I became more comfortable with it in a conversational setting. It’s also why French comics and films were easier for me to muddle through.
Did you study it or is your trauma from living in up North?