Books for Babes provides info on the sort of comics that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. This week we recommend the remastered edition of ‘Glint: The Cloud Raiders’, available now from Caracal, an imprint of Lion Forge Comics.
by Stefania Rudd. For me, the best stories draw parallels to our lives and provide a new perspective to the world around us. A multi-layered and well-told story will always help us connect with the creators’ intent, even if (or especially if) their setting and characters are well beyond our terrestrial boundaries or understanding. Samuel Sattin and Ian McGinty’s Glint Vol. 1: The Cloud Raiders is one such tale; younger readers will benefit from the book’s many dilemmas (Glint is published by Lion Forge’s middle-grade imprint, Caracal), largely because its parable aims to spark imaginations as much as increase awareness of what’s happening to the world just outside their windows.
A really nice touch at the start of Glint is a welcome letter written by Sattin and McGinty. Here they address us as “Cherished Reader[s]” and lay out why they created Glint in the first place. They list their inspirations, and provide us a taste of what kind of story we are about to delve into. I also appreciated the two maps included in the beginning, presented in such a way that a thorough scan of it gives the reader an integral understanding of the many complexities and resources contained in the world that’s about to unfold before us. The action begins immediately with Chapter One, and it does not wane.
The planet Mora is dying. The root cause? The depletion of glint, the precious mineral that has helped sustain the planet for generations. The hero of our tale is Loon, who, alongside his tough-as-nails grandmother Frann, mines for glint—a perilous job on its own. But the scarcity of the mineral adds another level of danger to their lives: When a purportedly glint-rich mine instead leaves them wanting, Frann’s other workers turn on her. However, having survived a storied life as a brave warrior (Mora’s other primary occupation), Frann knows how to appease the crowd for the time being. Loon is so impressed by the tales of her brave past that he wishes to become a great warrior himself, and his best friend, Val, who’s just enlisted in the Temple of the Sacred Defense, promises to help him achieve that dream. Naturally, this makes Loon’s mother—and warrior grandmother—incredibly nervous.
As we learn about the rich history of Mora and its many devoted workers and warriors, the story shifts to another central character: Priestess Eleona, a member of the ruling class that holds the power and secrets of the worlds around Mora, frantically searches for her daughter Kee Dren, who has gone missing… along with Eleona’s lodewing activator. (A plot device that holds great importance.)
Glint is an incredibly detailed sci-fi/fantasy tale, and a large part of its success comes from Ian McGinty’s artwork. He encapsulates the completeness of this world by rendering the diverse spectrum of Mora’s various races: Every character has a distinct look all their own with plenty of distinguishing features, such as skin color and body shape and size, all of which establishes the class differences among each other as well as the roles they play. Sam B. Kays’ coloring incorporates earthy tones highlighted by cool, serene blues, while the eponymous glint is given a vibrant magenta-ruby red that appropriately stands out as a force unto itself. No wonder glint is so vital to the lifeforce of Mora—it almost appears to emanate a crackling life.
Overall, Sattin does a wonderful job of building high stakes within the story and finding ways to keep all the balls in the air as new ones are juggled in. Since “The Cloud Raiders” is volume one of a three-part trilogy, the writer keeps this entry moving at a smooth pace, establishing the foundation of the characters, their motivations, and the settings with a palpable ease. Because of the abundance of storytelling craft and talent on display, there’s a certain amount of confidence I have in Glint to maintain its overall quality. For such a multi-layered story, one doesn’t have to dig too deep to strike narrative gold—or glint, in this case.
Caracal / Lion Forge Comics / $12.99
Created by Samuel Sattin (words) and Ian McGinty (art).
Coloring by Sam B. Kays.
Letters by Deron Bennett.
This book contains an intermediate reading level and some scary monsters… looking at you, Feeders.
Age range: 8-12
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