Mouse Guard is David Petersen's debut graphic novel, and it's successful as a beautifully illustrated story, and as an adventure tale.
It's the story of a community of mice, who should be living in peace following their problems with a weasel warlord in 1149. By 1152, the Mouse Guards, who had been formed to help the mice survive the harsh conditions and predators, are acting as escorts, pathfinders and scouts to help mice find safeways from village to village.
However, when a grain merchant goes missing, three Guards, Lieam, Kenzie and Saxon are sent out. They face natural enemies such as snakes and crabs, but, even worse, they discover a traitor. Their attempts to infiltrate a village are thwarted, and, helpless, two are left to die while one is forced to accompany an army of mice bent on invading Lockhaven, the home of the Mouse Guard. It's only when the legend of the Black Axe proves to be reality, and a legendary mouse steps forward that the scales are balanced.
Peterson has written and illustrated a story of heroism. The graphics are gorgeous in the details of nature. The mice are valient in knowing their duties to other mice. My only complaint is one I had about the Babar books. The Epilogue of this book is written in cursive, and it's difficult to read with the small type and colored illustrations. But, I'll be waiting for Mouse Guard Winter 1152.
David Petersen's website is www.davidpetersen.net
Mouse Guard Fall 1152 by David Petersen. Archaia Studies Press, ©2007, ISBN 978-1-932386-57-2 (hardback), 192p.
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