Review by Frank Plowright
Back in the days when knights of old took on squires to learn their trade and act as servants, a young boy is apprenticed to Sir Kelton of Eldergaard, who’s a boastful type sure of his own capabilities. After numerous stories of his heroism when encountering dragons in the past, he and the squire arrive at Bridgetown, coincidentally troubled by a dragon. Sir Kelton heads off to sort things out, and doesn’t return. While that at first seems tragic, it’s actually the making of his never named squire.
Scott Chantler’s art charms from the start, creating a world of old inhabited by ogres, goblins and ghosts all knocking along with humanity. They’re drawn in a goofy way, but Chantler ensures the threatening elements aren’t going to scare anyone but the most sensitive child. He applies the same sensibilities to the story, where almost everyone is an exaggerated caricature and prone to disaster through their own stupidity, which is funny.
The squire sits apart from that. Despite being told by Sir Kelton he’ll never learn anything from a book, he’s constantly seen referencing books, and learns to put his trust in what he reads rather than the contrary accounts he hears from people. Being observant, he also realises the truth about events whereas Bridgetown’s residents place their stock in rumour and hearsay, and in a clever and satisfying story it’s the squire who save the day. Not that he gets any thanks.
Good-natured and cheerful, this is marketed as an opening volume, and the characters certainly have enough potential to sustain a series, so let’s hope for more.