Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Graphic Novel Review: Meso Volume 1: Rise of the Tzalekuhl written by Tyler Chin-Tanner

Illustrated by Josh Zingerman and Val Rodrigues
Pros: good artwork, interesting set-up, interesting characters

Cons: /

Still angry that as child refugees they received no aid from their neighbours, the now adult Children of Tzalekuhl go to war determined to make the Huax’kin submit to their rule - or wipe them out.

This is a fantasy graphic novel inspired by Mesoamerican history and mythology, in particular that of the Maya and Aztecs.

I loved the artwork and how the various tribes look distinctly different, with their own hairstyles, clothing and adornments (jewelry, piercings, body art), weaponry, etc.

This is an opening act, so there’s mostly some character introductions, set-up for the various conflicts, and some background on how the various groups ended up where they are. It starts with a battle, so that’s not to say there’s no action. I found the different protagonists compelling. I felt conflicted about Roden, who seemed like a decent guy doing things to protect his family and home. But some of those things are kind of horrible when seen from the other side.

I was curious how much of the story was based on actual history (if any) and so was overjoyed the author included a ‘historical notes’ section at the end going over this, including a few book recommendations for those wishing to learn more.

This is an era of history that isn’t often used for fantasy storytelling so I found it fascinating and would love to read more.

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