Debut author-illustrator Ethan M. Aldridge will captivate readers with this full-color fantasy graphic novel that has all the makings of a classic, about a changeling and a human child who were switched at birth and must now work together to save both their worlds. Perfect for fans of Amulet.
Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, with fae powers that make him different from everyone else—even his unwitting parents and older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being human makes him an oddity at the royal palace, and where his only friend is a wax golem named Whick.
But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne takes the throne, the Childe and Edmund realize that the fate of both worlds may be in their hands—even if they’re not sure which world they belong to.
I feel that I might be a bit biased considering I am a big fan of Ethan’s artwork. I actually own a few prints by him and hope to continue to grow my collection. This being said, I have had his book on pre-order since the day it was available and I was super excited when the ARC arrived on my door step.
The ARC is in black and white, which doesn’t let me see the novel in its full and magical glory – even though I’ve seen it on tumblr and his Patreon.
What’s nice about this middle-grade graphic novel is that it teaches the importance of families. The ones we are raised in and the ones we chose. Through the story, Edmund and the Childe bring up what it means to be part of a family, and who really belongs to the human family. The Childe, who never really had that experience or relationship, learns that it means more than being born to someone – and honestly, it is beautiful.
The most majestic and unique part of this novel is that it’s 95% done with traditional watercolor illustrations. In a world where everything is digitized and on photoshop this little book is odd but perfect. Aldridge’s art reminds me a lot of E. H. Shepard’s Winnie the Pooh art style with the thick ink strokes and beautiful colors.
It’s truly modernized nostalgia filled with magic.
I really don’t want to spoil too much of the story, because it’s wonderful and I want the whole world to read it. What you really need to know is that it is a fantasy story filled with changelings, golems, witches, sibling love, trolls, evil aunts, rats, fights and a DRAGON.
I look forward to reading it again in its full color glory. I also look forward to the second book – since there are so many loose ends that need solving!
Book Release: August 7th, 2018
My Rating: 5/5