Freya and Julius are flung into a dungeon cell, but a mysterious stranger outside their window professes to want to help them. It turns out to be the somewhat disgraced king of Nacht. He doesn’t want an alliance with Tyr because he’s afraid to cross Sigurd. His infant son has been kidnapped and is going to be given to the Sigurdian emperor as leverage. Freya vows to save the little prince, and she gets help from an unlikely source. As suspected, there’s more to the strange arrangement between the king and queen of Nacht, and certainly more to a madwoman, who, for years, has acted as the queen's executioner.
Illustrated by Ryo Mitsuya
In Menou’s world, people are often summoned from other worlds and bring great power with them. Somewhere in the distant past, this led to a cataclysmic event that wiped out and entire continent. Now, Menou and the Church she serves hunts these otherworlders down and disposes of them. When Menou meets an otherworlder she can’t kill, she is directed to bring her target back to the city-center of the Church. Nothing can be simple, however as they catch a train beset by bandits wielding guns from the Wilds. A warrior princess is also along for the ride and confronts Menou’s assistant, Momo.
Illustrated by Lauren Knight, colored by Sofie Dodgson, flatted by Shayne Hannah Cui, lettered by Becca Carey
In this world, any woman who is past child-bearing years has been deemed useless to society and is banished to a remote island off the coast of any civilization. There, these women have made their own society and rules a-la Lord of the Flies. There is a group dedicated to helping with anyone deceased; there are the Red Hats who seem bent on destruction and domination; and there's Rosie and her friends, Lottie, and Caroline, who just want to raise chickens, have tea, and keep to themselves. Jay has been thrust into this world a little unexpectedly, having gone through early-onset menopause, and is now seen as a threat to the equally young leader of the Red Hats. There's also lots of backmatter that includes book reviews, recipes, and insights into the workings of the island.
Illustrated by Werther Dell'edera
The War is over, and Russian soldiers evict German citizens from Prague to return to their country. In the midst of this, a puppeteer asks to tell a Russian soldier a horrifying tale, and the two sit in front of his puppet stand. The puppeteer begins with Radek, a Jewish doctor who has papers hiding his true heritage. He treats patients in the hidden basement of a shop, where one tells him of a golem whose mud lies in the rafters of the synagogue. The golem is the sworn protector of the Jewish people, and he begs Radek to help bring him to life. Being a man of science, Radek believes none of this, but finds mud in the rafters and appeases the professor with an attempt. He is stunned beyond measure to find he has risen a true golem named Yossel!
Illustrated by Yasmine Putri, colored by Arif Prianto, lettered by Wes Abbott
In a reimagining of the DC Universe, Jor-El and Lara escape a crumbling Krypton in a rocket and crash land in a fantasy, Medieval Europe inspired time, just as Lara is giving birth to Kal-El. A prophet in a neighboring kingdom warn of a danger coming from the sky, who will look like humans, and who will destroy the world. Naturally, many suspect the Els as the subject of the prophecy, and some work to take out the indestructible family. The Els struggle between several kingdoms on the brink of war with the Kingdom of Storm and the Amazonians.
Arslan and a trusted general, Daryun, have found the hide out of the former royal strategist-turned-hermit, Narsus, and they try to get Narsus to join up with Arslan even though the king grew to despise Narsus. According to Daryun, there is no better war strategist, and Narsus does live up to his reputation several times while they are in his home. While Arslan is trying to remount a force to protect the capital city of Ecbatana, the Lusitanian forces descend on the city and try all manner of dirty tricks to get the sturdy walls to fall. They try torturing prisoners of war in front of the other soldiers to demoralize them; they appeal to the slaves inside to revolt against the solders; and they send assassins through secret water passageways to try to kill or capture the queen, who is the lone royal family member left in the capital to help keep everything together.
Thorkell and his warriors stuff their faces at a local inn and bemoan the winter that has put a stop to their glorious fighting. Then, they get word that Askelaad is holed up in a village north of them, and Thorkell rallies his men for a fast march to catch up. Askelaad puts Thorfinn on duty guarding prince Canute, which is how Thorfinn discovers Canute can cook. The Ear hears Thorkell's troops approaching, but it’s a little too late. They've only managed to build three sleds, which isn’t enough to take all their loot and people across the difficult snow-covered terrain. Askelaad decides to set his plans in motion, including robbing Canute of his most faithful servant. Some of Askelaad's men start to defect, hoping Thorkell will have better luck, but Thorkell has no place in his ranks for turncoats. Then, Askelaad's men start to fight against Askelaad, but his exceptional strength and fighting abilities keep him alive until Thorkell finally catches up. Despite his assignment to watch the prince, Thorfinn crashes back into the throngs of warriors, demanding the right to kill Askelaad himself. Thorkell challenges him to a duel for the honor of killing Askelaad, and reveals he knows much about Thors as he parries Thorfinn's attacks.
In continuing the theme that every powerful person who meets Freya’s falls in love with her, we somehow run into the Sigurdian prince on a ship where Freya is bound for the kingdom of Nacht to secure the first of many alliances against Sigurd. Prince Dimitri decides to entertain himself by trying to get Freya to go to bed with him, but she skillfully avoids his advances. Once they land in Nacht, Freya and her hand-picked band of retainers learn that the Queen, who was a Sigurdian princess, sends her servants to the town to select young, beautiful men to be her evening’s entertainment. Of course, Julius stands out among the rest, and they all get an invitation to the castle. They discover that there’s more to her request than companionship and a dinner guest. The queen has actually been seeking a brave soul to save her kingdom from a vengeful person, and she begs Julius to be that soul.
Askelaad and his forces, including Thorfinn, have become entwined with the Danish forces laying siege to England in the early 1000s. They first try to invade London, but a turncoat Viking is helping fortify London’s channel. Askelaad sends Thorfinn to bring back the head of this traitor, Thorkell, but Thorfinn only succeeds in cutting off a few fingers. Askelaad’s forces then save the Danish prince from being captured by Thorkell, and all they can think about is the reward from the king for saving his son. Askelaad leads his men into Wales where he has some allies, and we learn more about his lineage, which is impressive and surprising. Thorfinn is assigned to guard the prince, but Thorfinn can’t get over how weak and feminine this prince is.
When the German forces surrendered at the end of World War II, a select unit of Jewish Soldiers, British and Palestinian, became an unofficial unit known as The Jewish Brigade. These soldiers made detours during their official missions in order to hunt down elite Nazis or save any Jewish survivors of the Concentration Camps. This story focuses on Leslie Toliver. Toliver and his Palestinian friend, Ari, rescue a girl named Safaya from a church where a former SS official was acting as a priest. Ari and another British officer covertly rescue truckloads of Jewish civilians from the Russian city of Graz before it comes under British control because they feared Anti-Semitism that would make like difficult or impossible for those survivors. The Jewish civilians are trying to make their way to Palestine, where the U.N. had a planned Jewist State. Later, Toliver supports the Jewish forces in Palestine fighting for their own state. He and Safaya are reunited, but now, Safaya is a soldier fighting for her people against the Arabs in Palestine who oppose the partition of their country.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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