Item description for Artesia Volume 1 by Mark S. Smylie...
In the Highlands of the Middle Kingdoms, where witchcraft and warlords vie for power, a warrior-priestess named Artesia fights for her king against the rulers of rival citadels. Collecting all six issues of the first Artesia mini-series!
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 7" Height: 10.5" Weight: 1.75 lbs.
Release Date Jan 18, 2007
Publisher Archaia Studio Press
ISBN 193238622X ISBN13 9781932386226
Reviews - What do customers think about Artesia Volume 1?
Paths and Consequences May 15, 2008
Young Artesia was blessed (or cursed) with many paths from which to choose. As the daughter of a famous witch who was burned at the stake (occupational hazard), Artesia has learned and wields considerable magic, but she chose not the path of Magic. As a beautiful woman who enjoys sex in all its aspects, Artesia indulges herself when opportunity presents, but she chose not the path of Eros. As a worshiper of living gods, Artesia has received numerous spiritual (and material) blessings and benefits, but she chose not the path of Worship. Possessed of an inquiring mind like her brother, Artesia has sought out and acquired considerable knowledge, but she chose not the path of Scholarship. Instead Artesia chose the path of War, and that has made all the difference.
Attracted by the artwork and having developed a soft spot for sword and sorcery, I decided to give Artesia a try and was amazed at what I found! This is no pale imitation of Howard or Tolkien; this is a fully developed world with fully developed histories and back stories, fully developed magical powers, fully developed religions, and fully developed powers and empires with which its characters must contend.
Having risen from refugee to concubine to warrior to commander of an army, Artesia has begun to frighten and make jealous her king and lover who plots to betray her. Unfortunately for him her powers have made her aware of this, but even she fails to grasp just how low he will stoop. Then in the midst of all this comes word from the south: an ancient enemy is on the path of conquest again, and choices must be made.
Mark S. Smylie has given us quite a story here, or rather the first part of quite a story. Objections about unrealistically able female warriors are met first by magic and spiritual aid and second by good generalship. Few individual combats are shown; instead we see army against army, where better discipline, better training, and better leadership can rather easily defeat superior individual abilities.
Defects? Well, frankly I have my doubts about whether a story this complex set in a world this complex can be successfully told in graphic novel format. Multiple re-readings will be required to gain even a hazy idea of all that is going on, and recourse to Artesia online or even purchase of the Artesia: Adventures In The Known World RPG may be advisable, even for non-RPG players. Smylie unfortunately makes matters worse by drawing too many of his characters too much alike. Most of the female characters, including Artesia, can only be distinguished by costume or situation, and that with considerable difficulty. The male characters are a bit more diverse, but even there the proliferation of square-faced men is occasionally confusing.
The saga continues in Artesia Afield and Artesia Afire.
excellent story, graphics & coloring Nov 8, 2007
First volume of the story of how a woman, Artesia, becomes a worshiped war strategist. She uses her special powers, her female intuition and her sexuality in a brutal world already in war, full of conspiracy. She fights her opponents not only as an excellent swords (wo)man but also by communicating with the underworld and she's constantly accompanied by spirits