Monday, May 16, 2016

The Last Dragon - Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay

Title: The Last Dragon
Author: Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay
Publisher: Dark Horse, 2011 (Hardcover)
Length: 142 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Adult; Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Started: May 16, 2016
Finished: May 16, 2016

From the back cover:

Two hundred years ago, humans vanquished the dragons of the islands of May. Now, the last of the dragons rises to wreak havoc anew - with only a healer's daughter and a kite-flying would-be hero standing in its way.

Master storyteller Jane Yolen (Owl Moon, Sword of the Rightful King) and celebrated fantasy artist Rebecca Guay (Swamp Thing, Magic: The Gathering) weave a textured and lyrical tale of adventure, homelands, and heroism the hard way.

Again I'm on a graphic novel kick, plus it's hard to find decent one-shots in this area, so I decided to give this a go.

The story is quite concise and gets right to the point: dragons were once extinct from the islands, but one dragon egg slumbering deep in the ground hatches and the last dragon grows and begins to feed in the neighbouring area, which arouses suspicion from the townspeople. When they finally realize what has been abducting animals and people, the townspeople try to come up with a way to destroy the dragon. They find an impostor hero named Lancot on a neighbouring island and bring him over. When Tansy, the healer's daughter, realizes he isn't really a hero worthy of being their dragon slayer, they formulate a plan to kill the dragon using some ingenuity and healer's knowledge.

The art style is truly gorgeous, which almost makes up for the rushed pace of the story and lack of character development. I get that this is barely 150 pages so some things aren't going to be as developed, but it would be interesting to see this fleshed out so as to make the characters really shine, for example I liked Rosemary, Sage, and Tansy for the little while we did get to see them.

Rushed plot and the character development is lacking due to the length of the work, but the art is breathtakingly gorgeous so it almost balances out.

Thoughts on the cover:
Not the best indicator of the artist's overall style, but if you do like the cover, the inside art is much better.

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