Review: The Steel Prince Volume 1

Review: The Steel Prince Volume 1


Title: The Steel Prince (Volume 1)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Format: Graphic novel, library copy

Published: 6 March 2019

Pages: 112

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Before Maxim was king of Red London, father to Rhy, and adoptive father to Kell, he was the arrogant Steel Prince, a title given to him because of his magical affinity with steel. He is sent by his father, King Nokil, to a violent city, outside of Red London. Verose is full of criminals, unruly soldiers, chaos, and a recently returned, ruthless pirate queen, Arisa.


I’m not gonna lie, I put off reading this graphic novel because I never cared for Maxim throughout The Shades of Magic trilogy. While I understand he was (mostly) doing what was best for Red London and his family, I just never enjoyed his character quite like Kell, Lila, or Holland. I didn’t find him particularly interesting, either.

However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by The Steel Prince, and I actually think it helped me appreciate Maxim for the character he is in The Shades of Magic series.

Maxim wants to prove that he is going to be a capable ruler, as he is the sole heir to the Red London throne. However, while in the dangerous city of Verose, he learns that being a leader is not a one and done sort of thing. He must make difficult, complicated decisions and step outside his own comfort zone to do what is best for his fellow soldiers and the people around them.

Really, I enjoyed seeing Maxim be humbled by Verose and the people who lived there. This graphic novel was not very long, but the amount of character development that happens so quickly is really impressive.

Also, Arisa is really cool (and also horrible and cruel). This pirate queen can control bones. BONE MAGIC. It’s deadly, terrifying, and of course strictly forbidden. Of course, what pirate is going to follow the rules? She hosts a tournament to determine who is worthy of serving her.

The artwork in this graphic novel was good, but it wasn’t my favorite. I think it definitely set the mood, and everything for Arisa was absolutely brilliant – especially the art of her bone magic! I’m not an art expert by any means, but I feel like something more could have been done. Again, I still think the art was really good. I mean absolutely no disrespect.

All in all, I was super impressed! I can’t wait for volume 2. It’s so nice to be back in V.E. Schwab’s London.

I definitely recommend reading this graphic novel after reading The Shades of Magic trilogy. Heads up – The Steel Prince is graphic with blood and violence.


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