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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Weëna


Minnesota, my brother and sister-in-law's feline roommate.
Catsitting takes me out of my usual element. My brother and sister-in-law borrowed some bédés from the local library, and so I read the first two volumes of Éric Corbeyran and Alice Picard's Weëna, an earnest (if derivative) attempt at mythopoeia which may not be available in English at this time. 

Weëna follows the titular character's quest to escape the dark destiny prophesied at the moment of her birth by a grim spectre. The deuteragonist, a young aristocrat with an unpronounceable name, seeks to marry Weëna in order to break an unspecified curse on his bloodline through the sacrifice of their hypothetical firstborn. With the perinatal portents, magical allies and trials of initiation, it sometimes feels as though the author must be writing the script between the lines of a fantasy tropes checklist. All of the characters wear their motivations on their sleeve, making absolutely certain to soliloquize in the most grandiloquent manner at every given opportunity. This penchant for awkward dialogue and frankly juvenile melodrama is highly unfortunate, as poor exposition detracts from the exploration of what might be an intricate and fascinating mythology.

Picard conjures enchanting scenery and striking fauna; the layouts, while not particularly innovative, serve the story well. I personally don't feel compelled to find out what happens to our young heroine, but I suppose there are worse ways to spend an hour with a cat.

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