Monday, December 19, 2011

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet is the long running graphic novel series by Kazu Kibuishi. The series began in 2008 with the Stonekeeper and earlier this year the fourth installment, The Last Council, was published.

The Amulet series began with a car accident and the tragic death of Emily and Navin’s father. When the family moves to live in the abandoned home of Silas, the children's grandfather, they are drawn into the world of Alledia where their mother is abducted by a creepy, walking, squid-type creature. Emily and Navin plunge into the world to save her. Luckily the children have the help of Silas’ inventions and find Silas himself, though he only has enough strength left to explain the choice Emily must make concerning a magical amulet she found in his house.

Emily accepts the power of the amulet to become a Stonekeeper, but it becomes a double edged sword. Emily must save the world of Alledia and finds that the amulet's motives are not always pure, much like the ring in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic series.

In the fourth book we find that Emily's crew has grown and she has seemingly succeeded in completing an important quest, which was to find the lost city of Cielis and receive help from the Guardian Council. There is, however, something wrong with the city with its scared residents and large prison. Emily decides to go along with the training program for Stonekeepers despite the uneasy feeling that they need to flee.

The real power of Amulet is not in the action and adventure, which is great, but in how Emily fares in becoming the leader of her family and working to navigate in a simultaneously beautiful and horrifying world she doesn't understand. Early in the book, Emily is told, "When you begin to realize the true weight of your actions you will awaken to become the person this world needs you to be."

Amulet is a wonderful series with emotional depth, exciting action and a fascinating world to explore. Fans of Jeff Smith's Bone and anything by Doug TenNapel will enjoy Amulet.

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