Item description for Artesia Volume 3: Afire - The Third Book Of Dooms (Artesia) by Mark Smylie...
The drums and horns of war still sound through the Middle Kingdoms, though the invading Empire of Thessid-Gola has been dealt a setback. The powers at play - the High King of Therapoli, his nobles and officers, the lurking Isliklid King, his warrior-servants, and the Sultan, commander of the Empire's armies - are all maneuvering for advantage, setting snares and traps for each other, with prisoners of war become hostages held in the balance. And through this den of vipers marches Artesia, self-proclaimed Queen of Dara Dess, with magic coursing through her veins, the whispers of ghosts in her ears, and an army at her back as she confronts the temptations, limits and consequences of power.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 7" Height: 10.75" Weight: 2.02 lbs.
Release Date May 30, 2007
Publisher Archaia Studio Press
ISBN 1932386335 ISBN13 9781932386332
Reviews - What do customers think about Artesia Volume 3: Afire - The Third Book Of Dooms (Artesia)?
Making This Up As She Goes May 17, 2008
She made a Deal to save lives, enforced by a magic-bound oath. Unfortunately Her more evil enemy found a loophole, and Her more honorable enemy took advantage. But it is not wise to fool the Queen of Dara Dess!
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.
Artesia's first decision after having finally accepted her title as Queen of Dara Dess is to negotiate a parole for the remnants of the Thessid Northern Host, which spares her still small force the price it would pay to annihilate it. This proves to be a mistake which forces a further retreat with Artesia's forces assigned to rearguard in a race to the questionable safety of Abenton.
Mark S. Smylie has given us quite a story here, or rather 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.
In addition as the story becomes the story of a military campaign, the lack of good maps begins to tell. Oh, Smylie has drawn some very beautiful maps in here, but he fails to use them to show the progress of the war. What I wouldn't give for a map at the end showing just what is known of the movements of the combatants to date!
The saga begins in Artesia Volume 1 and Artesia Afield.
Adventure with Thought Feb 18, 2005
This is a sexy series with substance. The art is beautiful and the story is intricate and compelling. The comparison to Middle Earth is apt as the author has created a detailed geography and history. I also appreciate a fairly regular schedule of release for new issues something that can not often be depended on.
Tolkein for the 21st Century Jun 17, 2004
This graphic novel won the Gold in ForeWord magazine's book awards, and it richly deserved it. In Artesia Afire, Mark Smylie has created a world the reader can get lost in. But this is not light escapism. In this world, the arts of war, magic, and eros intertwine in a deadly serious epic tale. Smylie mixes serious scholarship with boundless imagination to present a haunting world and an unforgetable hero. History, cartography, myth, linguistics, cultural and political theory, and beautiful art all give form to Artesia. It is the stuff of Tolkein.