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Comic Review: Spera, Volumes 1 & 2
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Archaia Entertainment: Spera, Volume 2 cover by Afu ChanSpera
Volume 1: Hardcover
Volume 2: Hardcover
Written by Josh Tierney
Illustrated by Kyla Vanderklugt, Hwei, Emily Carroll, Olivier Pichard, Giannis Milonogiannis, Afu Chan and Timothy Weaver
Cover by Afu Chan
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Cover Price: $24.95

It takes a lot of courage to to step into the unknown and pursue a new life, especially when all you’ve ever known is one of luxury. Spera, written by Josh Tierney and published by Archaia tells the tale of two princesses who have no other choice but to start anew — and it is not an easy road.

Princess Lono’s safe and secure life behind castle walls has come to an abrupt end. Her father, the King, has been murdered by the Queen of a neighboring kingdom. Pira, daughter of the Queen, and Yonder, her fire spirit dog and protector, rescue Lono in an attempt at preserving their very lives. Venturing beyond all comfort in search of the magical land of Spera, the three companions will face many perils: demons, monsters, ghosts, elemental spirits, and worst of all, the pursuit of the Queen in the form of a ridiculously creepy young boy.

In a journey spanning vast lands and wondrous realms, the girls learn to live like ordinary people and while frequently facing their fears; and once in Spera, they are forced to adjust to a life very different from the one they left behind.

Archaia has done it again. By publishing Tierney’s work, they’ve managed to bring in another talented new writer who not only presents a solid fantasy story for all ages, but who also offers a strong opinion on the importance of personal growth, bravery and the bonds of friendship. The first volume of Spera imbued a well paced, character-driven story with this pattern continuing to the end of the second volume.

One really fun aspect of this series as a whole is that each chapter, as well as the short stories at the end of both volumes, are drawn by different artists. While the story is told solely by Tierney, we get to see a new visual perspective on the characters and the lands they inhabit with each new entry. While I did like some interpretations more than others, I was fond of every illustration; it was a very refreshing reading experience.

The world of Spera is an excellent addition Archaia’s growing library and Josh Tierney is a storyteller to look out for. The third volume of the series was recently released and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it shortly. No matter what age you might be, I suggest you give Spera a try — it really is quite the journey.

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