By Thea Srinivasan
Here is a quick list of attributes I characterize with ninjas: violence, death, and teachers. If these three attributes aren’t somehow involved in a story about ninjas, I’m usually surprised and shocked. But thankfully, this tale has all three just in the first volume itself. Yet the story doesn’t twist it into one giant cliché thankfully. Please note: this story is ONLY for people 16 and up. If blood and gore are too much for you, do NOT read this story.
The Book of Silent Sky is about a ninja named Silent Sky, who’s on a mission to avenge the death of his master. Silent Sky is like every other ninja: he kills demons, was considered famous across the world for the wealth and power he had and was prophesized to join a famous demon clan. But he’s going to make sure nothing gets in his way until he finds the demon who killed his master.
For this take, I’ll be using my three personal elements to rate whether I should give this tale a thumbs up or down. First off is the use of violence. The amount of demons that Silent Sky has to face is immense enough that I don’t have to yawn due to excessive use or lack of gore and blood. Instead, my eyes are wide open to the artistic use of shadows that represent the characters and the entire background of the story. The usage of shadow is immense to the point that my heart jumps due to the amount of “black” blood that comes from Silent Sky slicing through other beings. So far, I give it a 5/5 for the violence. Tasteful yet something new I’ve never seen before.
The second element I’ll be exploring is death. Although death is not the central theme of this story, it is important enough that it gives Silent Sky actual meaning to the story and is not just another ninja. His backstory already says so much about who he was and the actions he takes now describes the person he’s trying to be. Finally, there are the demons who speak of what he WILL be. This is a key point because I’ve seen him deny this possibility so much and he was proven himself to do so as he has been able to create friendships with other people and has been able to create a new reputation for himself considering his past. Based on the knowledge some of his allies have, they knowingly trust him enough to follow the will of his master until the very end. For this element, I’ve been thoroughly intrigued by the use of death as a key to character growth.
Now for the final element: teachers. Unfortunately, I have to say Silent Sky only follows the words of his teacher. I was hoping for something a little different from Silent Sky considering his history. Realistically speaking, the creator did a good job of making sure Silent Sky follows his master’s words all the way through his journey. By following his master’s words and philosophies, he was able to create a new image for himself and gain more allies considering how tarnished his past is. Although his allies are older and have a strong traditional background, the creator did a good job of emphasizing the need of tradition for this world while making sure not to understate the need of change for all of the characters. For this element, I’m straddling the lines of good and bad when it comes to the usage of this element.
Overall, this is a nice story with a lot of adventure, good amount of demons and gore to keep the need for revenge running through my veins. The art is exquisite, and it’s something that captures my attention instantly compared to several other black and white artists. Finally, its use of traditional themes, like honor and greed, allow the story to maintain the “ninja feel” without being sucked out by the demons. Overall, this tale is for the person who wants a nice dose of traditional kick-butt action with a ball of revenge, fantasy, and shadows to keep you up at night.
The Book of Silent Sky #1
Paper Drawing Studio