Review by Frank Plowright
Without it intruding on the adventure of Amulet, over the previous three instalments Kazu Kibuishi has provided a considerable amount of backstory about the world of Alledia and how the current situation came to pass. Yet there is more to tell. In The Cloud Searchers the Guardian Council, once planetary protectors, were revealed to be still around, despite having removed themselves from the planet, and are in the process of training their successors. Potentially among them is Emily, now a Stonekeeper, but possibly in danger of being corrupted by the entity within her stone. She’s very powerful, but hasn’t yet learned to master what’s at her disposal.
What Kibuishi quickly shows readers is that the mythical city of Cielis seems far from the comforting bastion of righteousness that it ought to be, and misgivings manifest even before Emily and her friends have set foot in the city.
The Last Council is the most thrilling outing so far in what’s always been an enthralling series. Hopes have been built concerning the Council being the planetary saviours, and instead the cast find another society not as it ought to be. Younger readers who may have been concerned about Cogsley and Misket being carried away last time are supplied with the comfort of their survival, and shown their new allies, while there’s a turn into Hunger Games territory as Emily is tested.
As seen on the sample art, along with Emily’s growing confidence in what she can do, the threats have escalated. Kibuishi has a habit of keeping the art simple, so while there’s still uncertainty about the extent of corruption, there’s never a doubt about what’s going on from panel to exciting panel. An awful lot is packed into The Last Council, which is a real page turner all the way to the end. Kibuishi thickens the plot and captivates the audience keeping the tension high. Prince of the Elves is next.