It’s a familiar story: a Manhattan party girl has gone missing, and her apartment is stained with blood. A hard-boiled detective must sort out the clues. But in this case, the girl is Rose Red (Snow White’s sister), the detective is the Big Bad Wolf, and the Manhattan they live in is known as Fabletown: a secret city that exists alongside the “mundane” one we know. Once upon a time, the fairy-tale characters we knew and loved lived in their own storybook worlds. Then the Adversary came, conquering their lands and destroying our most beloved fantasies. The survivors now live side by side with human beings, their magical natures hidden. Princesses and witches, wolves and pigs coexist (mostly) in peace. When Rose Red disappears, everyone becomes a suspect. The killer could be Rose’s boyfriend Jack (a known thief from his beanstalk days), Bluebeard, who wanted to add Rose to his collection of wives, or even the lovely Snow White herself. The investigation plays out against a fascinating picture of fairy-tale characters making their way in the modern world. Willingham’s Fabletown and its inhabitants are funny, touching, and totally true to life; to say more would be to spoil the fun of finding out what becomes of them as they try to live happily ever after. Fractured fairy-tale and fantasy fans will love Fables. Librarians should keep in mind, however, that it’s published by Vertigo; there are a few panels of adult content. You just can’t trust a Prince Charming…

Fables, vol. 1: Legends in Exile
ISBN: 9781563899423
By Bill Willingham
Art by Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, and Mark Buckingham
DC Comics/Vertigo 2003

  • Jennifer Webb

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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