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Review: Elves Volume 2

The epic second installment in the Elves series, exploring the worlds and lives of the White Elves and the Half-Elves.

Immortal and wise, the White Elves dwell on secretive islands, far removed from men and the other races of elves. They protect all that could one day disappear—books, weapons, and even living creatures. When a White Dragon is spotted in the lands of men, the White Elves embark on a quest to capture it and bring it back to their islands . . . A quest with dramatic consequences for all involved.

With no country and no king, Half-Elves live in exile. Detested by the “pure” races, they are persecuted and imprisoned—if not simply eliminated at birth. But times change. Under the leadership of the Chosen One, an Elf-Man hybrid named Nah-Thaal, the time for the Great Assembly has come . . . Will Nah-Thaal be able to change the destiny of his persecuted race?

I never heard of Elves before being sent volume 2 and not being big on high fantasy I went into reading this volume with a few strikes against it. But, even with that hurdle to deal with, I came out the other end of Elves Volume 2 not only impressed but wondering how I’m not hearing more about this from the friends into fantasy, especially roleplaying games.

I knew nothing going into this so, I expected a continuation of some epic story but within it comes across more as two stories that are part of a greater world introducing you to two different Elf types and their epic tail. Each are allegories in their own ways and the stories are beyond epic.

The first is the tale of an Elf, unaware of his past, hunting a dragon. It’s a story the spans decades and then there’s the twist going from a story about a hunt for a dragon to one about being dissociated from one’s family and heritage. The second story is one about Half-Elfs and an omen about their having their own homeland. It too weaves and bobs with lots of twists are turns.

Originally a French comic, the volume is epic in many ways and feels much more dense than its $16.99 price tag indicates. This is a graphic novel that took me quite a while to read and though I received it for free to review, it’d feel well worth the price. This isn’t a quick breezy read, it’s high fantasy at some of its most entertaining (ie I enjoyed it and mostly dislike high fantasy). In two stories it lays out a world that feels like I could mine it for a fun roleplaying game adventure.

That’s helped by the art which is stunning to look at. Just absolutely beautiful for almost all of it and while there’s some quirks here and there with characters the book is beautiful to look at with worlds that feel though out and lived in.

I didn’t find out this was translated to after but now that makes sense as this graphic novel is unlike anything that’s released when it comes to “Western comics.” It’s packed with so much to read and look at, I’m beyond impressed with it. “Bang for your buck” is a term that feels like it’s often overused but this is a graphic novel where the phrase fits and then some. So many are releasing books that are more for less, this is a hell of an entertaining steal.

Story: Olivier Peru, Eric Corbeyran Art: Stephane Bileau, Jean-Paul Bordier
Color: Luca Merli, Digikore Studios
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review