Review: The Steel Prince Vol. 2 Night of Knives
Title: Night of Knives
Author: V.E. Schwab
Illustrator: Andrea Olimpieri
Published: 16 October 2019
Format: Graphic novel, library book
Rating: 3/5 stars
Synopsis (from Goodreads): “The young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, having faced the terror of the Pirate Queen, now aims to capture the respect of the combative port town of Verose – by taking the impossible challenges of the Night of Knives… and surviving, where none has survived before!”
Prince Max is back at it again in his quest to save Verose and prove himself a worthy future king.
I enjoy that these stories really help readers understand why King Maxim is the way he is when he is ruling Red London and his son, Rhy, is the prince. Maxim as a prince has a great deal of arrogance, but a fierce determination to learn and to help even the smallest of towns in his kingdom. As a reader, I really admire his growth as a character and the fact that we see him grow a little more in each book. This growth is reflected in how Max holds himself, his speech, and how his view on Verose evolves.
It’s quite fantastic.
So why the average-ish rating?
I felt that the illustrations were a bit muddy and the colors blended together a bit too much. It made the action scenes seem a bit sloppy and hard to follow.
My next issue is that the story seemed to end right when it began. Everything leads to the Night of Knives, yet the competition itself only lasts a couple of pages.
There are two villains in this graphic novel, one clown faced dude and an Antari. Their motives for going after the prince are briefly mentioned, but never thoughtfully explored, making the reading experience seem rushed. Instead of exploring this complex world of magic, we’re barely skimming the surface.
I would highly recommend reading the original Shades of Magic trilogy before picking up the graphic novels. It’s better to look back and reflect on Max with the knowledge of the different Londons and magic than to get the idea from the graphic novels and then read the series.
I’ve been reading Schwab’s work since 2010. I’m a huge fan of her writing, but I think that her stories are so big that they don’t translate the best into graphic novels. Part of me wishes Prince Max’s story had been told in a traditional novel format.
That’s all for now!
Thanks for reading.