You can purchase Kerry and the Knight of the Forest today.
Being alone in a strange place can inspire a lot in you, which is something I kept reflecting on when reading Random House Graphic’s latest original graphic novel, Kerry and the Knight of the Forest. Written and drawn by Andi Watson, this tale is filled with adventure, mysteries, and a keen desire to find try and find the best in others.
I was instantly smitten with Watson’s visual style and ability to draw wondrous environments. I was reminded of Eyvind Earle’s work — most notable for his backgrounds in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty — when reading this graphic novel. It’s an otherworldly and magical rendering of a forest that’s entirely unique, but was also reminiscent of worlds of my youth like Labyrinth.
At the start, the main character, Kerry, is walking on a black path amongst flat and somewhat boring fields of what looks like hay. At the edge of the field is a dark forest, and the path goes directly into it. The forest has trees tilted in strange ways and the grain of the trees themselves is engraved with different patterns of their grain. The start of this book is a reminder there is an ordinary and maybe even a mundane world we live in, but the main location of this story is the varied and imaginative forest.
Once inside, the forest is filled with interesting angles, shadows, and earthy colors. A lot of time and attention went to rendering this forest, and at 288 pages there’s a lot to enjoy in its splendor. That includes a variety of locations with color changes and creature changes too. Watson does a good job supplying Kerry with new friends and foes to interact with, further maximizing the imaginative splendor of the book.
This book is targeted at readers age 8 to 12, but I’d argue adults will love this too. Much like Random House Graphic’s other stellar OGNs like Aster and the Accidental Magic and The Runaway Princess, this book will bring you back to your childhood and make your imagination come alive. And if you’re already a kid at heart, you’ll likely be captured by the story and its deeper purpose as you adventure with Kerry and the Knight throughout the book.
There’s something to be said about the kind-hearted message in this book. Kerry befriends the Knight, who is cold and jaded, and while it takes a while Kerry, seems to instill in the Knight a sense of hopefulness that we can be better. In a world that seems to be extremely lacking in empathy, this book is needed more than ever.
Kerry and the Knight of the Forest captures the magic of adventure and mystery of the dark forest many of us experienced as children. Dreamlike and filled with adventure, Kerry and the Knight of the Forest will speak to your inner child.
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