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'Parliament of Rooks' #2 review

Comic Books

‘Parliament of Rooks’ #2 review

We are witnessing of a man being pulled between two worlds.

In the first issue of Abigail Jill Harding’s Parliament of Rooks, main protagonist Darius Ravenscar awakes from a strange and troubling dream only to dismiss it to attend a masquerade ball in the city of Eborvik where he hopes to continue his romance with Princess Seraphina. At the start of the second issue, Darius now realizes the dream has become a nightmare as he has transformed into a bird-like monster that has already killed in the streets of Eborvik. 

Throughout this issue, Darius is trying to understand what curse has fallen upon him and how much his family seems to be aware of it, such as his sister Rowanna, who hands him their late mother’s diary that may uncover the mystery behind this horrific transformation. At this point, there aren’t any big revelations in the story as the “Summer” issue (despite being published during Christmas time) is a journey of self-discovery for Darius and what that entails in his relationship with others.

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Parliament of Rooks #2
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There isn’t much expansion when it comes to the world-building of Eborvik, there is a wonderful scene between Darius and Seraphina. As they ride through the city, they discuss her king of a father, the townsfolk responding to the news of the monster plaguing the streets in their own twisted way, and her dream where she looks at the full moon, only for it and her to be consumed by “a great shadowy creature”. As much as Darius wants to maintain his love for Seraphina, there is a sinister presence in the shape of rooks that hover around him, and yet there is a scene later where he takes care of a rook crying for help.

With this theme of our protagonist being pulled between two worlds, Harding does a great job of visualizing this, as seen through Darius being this near-silhouetted demonic figure and the princess as an angelic figure bathed in moonlight. Like the first issue, Harding maintains the book’s monochrome presentation whilst bringing incredible detail to the gothic locations, such as a stunning splash page where Darius looks up at a grand church window that reflects on where the story could be going.  

Doing wonders with the limited presentation, there are splashes of blood red as Darius loses control in his beastly form. And blood there definitely is, during the climax where Harding presents a gory brawl between our hero and two monsters that showcase the artist’s skill of drawing creatures with an unconventional bone structure.

While there aren’t any big revelations at this point, Parliament of Rooks succeeds in its exploration of its main character, trying to balance romance and monsters.

'Parliament of Rooks' #2 review
‘Parliament of Rooks’ #2 review
Parliament of Rooks #2
While there aren't any big revelations at this point, Parliament of Rooks succeeds in its exploration of its main character, trying to balance romance and monsters.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
Harding's monochrome illustrations with a tiny dash of color continue to be dazzling.
Given its deliberate limited presentation, it contributes to the themes of the story.
A character study about a man who is going through a change and how that will affect the people around him...
...even if this issue doesn't quite advance much, in terms of its central mystery.
9.5
Great

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