Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Good Prince

The former Frog Prince, now the Woodlands janitor Flycatcher had been a fringe character in the books up until now, it was about time readers found out the mysteries that were hidden behind that mop of hair and the baseball cap with the frog like eyes.

Ever since turning back into a frog and then being made human again at Christmas Fly has been listless and not doing his job. The Woodlands is a total mess. Ride attenpts to motivate him by slapping him across the face, but even that rather drastic action has no effect on his self pitying state. He even goes to the Farm to see if that will help him. Back in Fabletown the Empire's increasingly militancy and the presence of Hansel nearby is bothering the brains trust of Charming, Beauty, Beast and Frau Totenkinder.

Blue convinces Fly to go back to Fabletown and his arrival coincides with the awakening of the suit of armour that hangs in the Woodlands atrium; The Foresworn Knight. The recent pronouncements had freaked out Bufkin to the extent that he violently disassembled the suit.

The suit reveals itself to Fly as the ghost of Sir Lancelot. I'd been wondering what happened to the Arthur legend, the only one we'd seen previously was Sir Pellinore. Now we knew. Lancelot believes that Fly as Prince Ambrose is the one to wear his armour and go to the Homelands. They travel via the Witching Well, which also gives them access to the ghosts of the Fables that have died and had their bodies put down the Well. Fly instructs the mirror (from the Snow White legend) to stay open so that the people on this side can see him.

The view from the mirror becomes the most watched show in Fabletown and many wonder if Fly is too trusting when he accepts the ghosts of Bluebeard and Shere Khan as part of his 'army'. Despite all the obstacles Fly seems to handle them with impunity and he grows as a man. He establishes a kingdom he calls Haven.

This naturally brings him to the Adversary's attention, who believes he is part of an invasion force. The hordes keep coming and Prince Ambrose keeps finding ways to defeat them. Eventually a huge army of Wooden Soldiers comes. Again Fly finds a way and this time not only does he take one of the Adversary's most potent weapon it also ruins the Sacred Grove, where the wood for the soldiers is sourced from. Ride comes with Blue courtesy of the Witching Cloak and is reunited with who she really loves; Prince Ambrose of Haven.

Along with the main story there was a standalone called The Birthday Secret with artwork by Aaron Alexovich. It was a cub centric story about how Bigby and Snow introduced the rest of the their brood to their brother; Ghost. It was very sweet. I hope Ghost works out with his siblings.

War is on the way.

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