COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THRONE OF ICE / AUTHOR: ALAIN PARIS / ARTIST: VAL, NOTARO / PUBLISHER: HUMANOIDS INC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Throne of Ice is one of those rarities, a massive idea with great potential that seems obvious in hindsight. This is a tale set in a mythical Antarctica, some 12,000 years ago, and before that land became a glacier encased mystery. With the canvas, writer Alain Paris (a prolific French author) has crafter a rich story with many familiar fantasy elements and a serious intensity.
The plot can be summed up in a few words – evil queen, indulgent husband, mistress, bastard heir to the throne and a plot. The plot is kill the mistress and babe to remove all rivals to the throne. Poor Jaemon, the bastard has no hope except a mysterious figure, Sozer, rescues him and hides him elsewhere in the continent.
With this simple hook we are given the chance to explore the many races of this ancient land as the queen sends armies and assassins to locate then rid herself of Jaemon. Over the years, Jaemon grows to discover his destiny amidst the magics and ancient gods. He marries and we learn it is his child that carries the fate of the land, and of humanity; if it lives!
There is plenty of action, and the artwork of Val (his first comic) and Notaro creates a vivid landscape, and while many elements are transplants of more modern historic settings (eg Celtic, Oriental and many more) this doesn’t diminish the story. Written in French this has been translated into English this also has an afterword by comics historian (and writer) Claude Ecken giving some insight into the historic influences.
The end when it comes is appropriate though abrupt. Might there be a sequel? Conceivably, though it might work better set centuries later with the descendants of some of those from this story. Conversely that might be a story better left in the mind of the reader.
This is billed as an action story though is not one to pick up and put down, it is best enjoyed over a few hours, perhaps with a glass (or two) of red wine. It is available now in a range of formats.