Curse of the Chosen, Volume 1:  A Matter of Life and Death & A Game Without Rules by Alexis Deacon

Curse of the Chosen, Volume 1:  A Matter of Life and Death & A Game Without Rules by Alexis Deacon, Flying Eye Books, 2022. 9781910620830

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Paperback graphic novel

Genre: Fantasy

What did you like about the book? This volume contains the first two stories in Deacon’s Geis novels that were published in 2016 and 2017.  It’s nice to have them together in one volume.

A Matter of Life and Death: A leader is dying and has no successor, nor a will, but when he is dead a spirit emerges from his body with instructions to the fifty persons who have been signed up as a possible new leader. One person is a young girl who does not know why she is there since she did not sign up. Some others of the group also stand out. The spirit issues the first test: all fifty must find their way back to the castle after they are teleported to various places before sunrise. Two of the contestants, the girl and Nemas, make their way back quickly and are informed of the truth of the situation – but a curse is placed upon them that they cannot tell anyone else the truth.

The action is non-stop – which means that you cannot stop following along. There is a somber, almost dreary, mood to the illustrations.

A Game Without Rules: The story continues exactly where it left off with the contestants back at the castle – but they must face a new contest: the contestants are divided into two teams who must make their own rules.  Niope is not to be trusted.  Is the game fixed?  The artwork matches the magic, intrigue and complexity created in the first volume.

Anything you did not like about the book? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? For those who would like a refresher before tackling Volume 3 in the trilogy

Who should buy this book? Public and middle-school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Graphic novels

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? For fans of magical graphic novels, yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: August 19, 2022

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