By Patrick Wolf
Did you ever have two friends fall-out, only to discover the rift between them was just the beginning of a bigger divide between you and all of your friends? Well, The Trolltooth Wars deals with a similar situation, only on a much wider scale. What if your warring friends were powerful mages? And what if the victor would come for you and your other friends next? How would you stop the war without having a decisive winner or loser? The Trolltooth Wars deals with this problem, but in a very interesting and entertaining fashion. So, is it worth all the hype it’s been receiving on kickstarter? Absolutely.
The Trolltooth Wars takes place in a fantasy, medieval world where goblins and sorcerers are as commonplace as danger and betrayal. The story follows the swordsman Chadda Darkmane and his manservant Cherrah as they navigate themselves through the warring factions of the evil Zharraden and Balthus. Darkmane is tasked with the mission to prevent the war from reaching the kingdom of Salamonis, and he may just have the solution if only he can find the lost warlock, Zagor. Can Darkmane complete his mission and prevent the Trolltooth wars from reaching the kingdom of Salamonis, or will he become another one of its victims?
I’m just going to come out and say it: this is a fantastic graphic novel. It’s Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones without being overly violent or derivative. The plot is intriguing, the characters are well fleshed-out, and the world is wonderful. I don’t want to sound cliché, but I couldn’t put this book down. I burned through the 150 pages faster than my weekly paycheck.
The only element that bothered me was the ending. The entire time I was reading, I could feel the build-up and tension coming closer-and-closer to a big payoff. But when the climax finally arrived, I felt a little cheated. I don’t want to spoil anything for the reader, but the story would’ve been much better if the third-act twist had been left out. Sometimes writers get the urge to create a surprise ending, but it doesn’t always make the story better. In this case, I felt the surprise took away from what would’ve been an otherwise perfectly fine conclusion.
With that in mind, the story’s still awesome. I love how we get the viewpoints of the different warring factions, and I love how the story feels like an adventure without having hundreds ‘walking-through-the-mountains’ montages. The artwork is very appropriate for genre as well. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but the more I read, the more it grew on me. Mitchell’s style has this ‘modern-meets-medieval’ kind of vibe to it and that makes perfectly good sense. Overall, The Trolltooth Wars is an excellent read coupled with some stellar artwork. I hope we get more resurrections of these Steve Jackson classics because they are definitely a lot of fun.
The Trolltooth Wars
Writer: P.J. Montgomery & Steve Jackson
Artist: Gavin Mitchell
Colorist: Gavin Mitchell
Letterer: Gavin Mitchell
Publisher: Fighting Fantasy