“Every rich man built his castle and defended them, and they filled the land full of castles. And they greatly oppressed the wretched people, by making them work at these castles; and when the castled were finished, they filled them with devils and evil men”—Landry Q. Walker paraphrasing The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

I can’t say that I’ve ever recommended reading the forward to a comic or book before, but you should definitely read the forward. It really helps to set the context of The Last Siege and the history of the time period that influenced The Last Siege. Written by Landry Q. Walker with illustrations by Justin Greenwood, The Last Siege is marketed as a tale of blood, desperation, and loss. This is the collected volume of an 8-issue series, and I find a complete story is always a nice sell to library customers. Those needing to fill the void that Game of Thrones left in their hearts will enjoy this read for there is a throne to be won, an evil king, and a young girl who is the rightful heir.

The first four pages of The Last Siege have no dialogue and no narration, just a traveler making his way into town in the rain while crows watch. The pages are dark and moody and make for a really impactful introduction to the story. Our mysterious traveler arrives at a castle where the lord recently passed away. The castle is filled with men claiming to have been named the regent of the land and the control of the region rests in the hands of the lord’s 11-year old daughter, Lady Cathryn, and her marriage to one of these men. Our traveler, still unnamed, is pretty concerned with protecting Cathryn for there’s an evil king and his armies are coming. We’ll learn soon enough that Lord Aedon tasked this traveler with protecting his daughter and only heir. Little did Aedon know that our traveler shares a unique history with the brutal king.

After each issue, the written story of a character named Tomislav continues—the reader doesn’t get much information as to the background of this story or how it relates to the main story, and although I suspected he was one of the main characters, we don’t learn the identities of the king or the mysterious man until the 5th chapter. Once the identities were revealed, I certainly felt like it would have been helpful to re-read the written stories.

This title is rated Teen Plus and there is plenty of swearing and violence to back up that rating. The content is appropriate for mature teens as well as adults. I feel like it is important to also note that the cast of characters is predominantly white men and there is no dialogue from a woman for the first 100 pages.

Overall, I found the story enjoyable and I really appreciated some of the writing choices. For example, Chapter 7, which depicts an epic battle, is completely devoid of text allowing the reader to fully focus on the images. There’s a limited color palette throughout all eight issues. Characters aren’t bright and shiny; they show wear and age that war and battle bring upon a person’s face.

The Last Siege
By Landry Q. Walker
Art by Justin Greenwood
ISBN: 9781534310513
Image, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: Teen Plus

  • Candice

    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! After completing her MLIS (or, as she likes to call it, a degree in looking stuff up), Candice began working for Ottawa Public Library – most notably she’s worked as a Teen Services Librarian but she’s also dawned other hats including a stint as a Supervising Librarian and as a Digital Literacy Librarian. She is a strong supporter of the Oxford comma, dislikes lasagna immensely, and drinks copious amounts of tea. When it comes to comics, manga, books, and general geekdom, Candice doesn’t discriminate – she loves them all. Whovian-Amazon Goddess-Wizard-Sailor Scout- extraordinaire at your service!

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