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Shades of Magic #1: The Steel Prince

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The acclaimed fantasy phenomenon comes to comics with a new prequel story from award-winning creator and New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab! In a gaslamp world where magicians navigate alternate Londons, the prince of Red London pursues a dark version of his beloved city – and faces worse than exile... Sumptuously illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri (Dishonored) and Enrica A The acclaimed fantasy phenomenon comes to comics with a new prequel story from award-winning creator and New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab! In a gaslamp world where magicians navigate alternate Londons, the prince of Red London pursues a dark version of his beloved city – and faces worse than exile... Sumptuously illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri (Dishonored) and Enrica Angiolini (Warhammer 40,000).


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The acclaimed fantasy phenomenon comes to comics with a new prequel story from award-winning creator and New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab! In a gaslamp world where magicians navigate alternate Londons, the prince of Red London pursues a dark version of his beloved city – and faces worse than exile... Sumptuously illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri (Dishonored) and Enrica A The acclaimed fantasy phenomenon comes to comics with a new prequel story from award-winning creator and New York Times bestseller V.E. Schwab! In a gaslamp world where magicians navigate alternate Londons, the prince of Red London pursues a dark version of his beloved city – and faces worse than exile... Sumptuously illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri (Dishonored) and Enrica Angiolini (Warhammer 40,000).

30 review for Shades of Magic #1: The Steel Prince

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    "Once there were four worlds instead of one, set side by side like sheets of paper." Review to come

  2. 5 out of 5

    ☆ Mira ✷

    20gayteen has been beautiful, but can we talk about 20Schwabteen? Returning to Red London for a new adventure WATERED my CROPS and I am THRIVING out here. As you all know, Shades of Magic is my main personality trait lately, god bless. It's so exciting to have something new to consume instead of fixating on the same 3 books over and over again. (NOT that there's anything wrong with that, okay?) Honestly, I was initially disappointed that Victoria Schwab created a new 2018 Shades of Magic series—a 20gayteen has been beautiful, but can we talk about 20Schwabteen? Returning to Red London for a new adventure WATERED my CROPS and I am THRIVING out here. As you all know, Shades of Magic is my main personality trait lately, god bless. It's so exciting to have something new to consume instead of fixating on the same 3 books over and over again. (NOT that there's anything wrong with that, okay?) Honestly, I was initially disappointed that Victoria Schwab created a new 2018 Shades of Magic series—and then dedicated it to Maxim Maresh, of all characters. See, I was a proud Maxim hater in my A Gathering of Shadows days. He made my beloved <3 Kell <3 feel bad, which is inexcusable. Ugh. I was like… “yeah… steel prince…” waives hands halfheartedly JUST WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE MAXIM? But what do ya know pals, he wasn’t always a paranoid hardass dad! He used to be the WILD bitch who gets up to adventure. Reading about Maxim’s past felt like looking at my parents’ childhood photographs and realizing that they had entire LIVES I don’t know about. Wow. And this beginning of his adventures is entertaining. Rebellious Maxim gets thrown out of London and into Verose, a sketchy port city where he has to battle dark magic and the like. I hope he spends 3 issues making enemies and getting into fights. I am perfectly normal. We got the excellent Schwab Foreshadowing, of course. This prequel already gives Maxim’s reactions to events in Shades of Magic a whole new perspective, and I know that this will go further in the next issues. Since spacing out while doing mundane things in order to mentally analyze Schwab books is my trusted solution to boredom, it’s AWESOME to have a whole new lens for ADSOM! But… uh… I rated it 3 stars, so let’s get to that. First of all, as of now, I'm not actually that invested in the story, because 1) this first issue was really just an introduction that hasn't established the conflict yet; 2) it’s a prequel set 20 years before things are going fine in this world. So I’m not worried about Maxim’s safety, and if there’s a future threat of the entire world burning, I won’t care about that either. Second of all, graphic novels aren't my thing. I’ve never read a whole one because they disorient and confuse me so much. But I'm definitely in the minority with that. So I genuinely think that this is a you-not-me issue. If you like graphic novels, yay, I have faith in you loving The Steel Prince. In conclusion— 1. shame on me for being un-hyped about a Maxim prequel 2. it was pretty fun 3. too bad it’s a graphic novel 4. but I really want the next issues please?!

  3. 4 out of 5

    ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    EXCUSE ME this was amazing. I love the art so much, it's so rich and I feel like it captures the essence of this world so well?? And the dialogues are amazing. Victoria does it again and literally every line is so iconic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I really like the artistic team they have for this series. I love all the different covers, and it was very hard to choose which one I wanted to pre-order (dame for future issues). What I like about this is...well, having read the series, I know how Maxim's story ends, but I like getting this snippet into his past and learning more about him. I have a number of friends interested in the comics but say "I haven't finished the series yet," and frankly, I don't think you need to. You can read this I really like the artistic team they have for this series. I love all the different covers, and it was very hard to choose which one I wanted to pre-order (dame for future issues). What I like about this is...well, having read the series, I know how Maxim's story ends, but I like getting this snippet into his past and learning more about him. I have a number of friends interested in the comics but say "I haven't finished the series yet," and frankly, I don't think you need to. You can read this and enjoy the development you get from it for Rhy's father and it doesn't spoil the story. It is a prequel, after all. :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Anderson

    The beginning of what’s going to be an epic series I’ve been waiting for this comic since it was announced last year, and Schwab has gone above and beyond! The beautiful world building that made Shades of Magic my favorite series is made even more gorgeous by the talented artist sic hand. I cannot wait to see where this goes!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh | Wild Heart Reads

    ICONIC

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy (libraryofamy)

    So this is what it was like to buy a comic every week back in the 1950s... I'm definitely gonna wait until the bind-up of all 4(?) issues comes out in February before I continue. I'm glad I purchased the first issue though, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and it's cool thing to add to my Schwab collection! But... this was just way too short. I can't even give this a rating because it felt like it was half of a first chapter! I know that's how comics literally work but it's always an awkward readi So this is what it was like to buy a comic every week back in the 1950s... I'm definitely gonna wait until the bind-up of all 4(?) issues comes out in February before I continue. I'm glad I purchased the first issue though, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and it's cool thing to add to my Schwab collection! But... this was just way too short. I can't even give this a rating because it felt like it was half of a first chapter! I know that's how comics literally work but it's always an awkward reading experience for me. The art style is beautiful and I'm excited to see the ADSOM world in comic format. I also think following Maxim is such a good idea, and I love that this takes place in somewhere other than London, so we get a feel for how the Red universe is outside of that one city. My only complaint, beyond the fact that it was obviously quite short and there was not much to review because of that, is that I found that a majority of what happened to be quite confusing. I couldn't tell who was who, because the action scenes were not illustrated in a super effective way and a bunch of characters looked the same. I tried reading the main fight scene three times over and was still confused as to what the heck happened for those few pages. I'm assuming it'll make itself more clear in the next issue. But I absolutely love the cover. And it's really cool that VE Schwab made a comic, like... how bad ass is that? Like I said earlier, I'm definitely gonna continue but I'll wait until all the issues are out so I can get more of a cohesive reading experience.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Saga Höök

    Är så glad att vara tillbaka i min favoritvärld igen <3

  9. 5 out of 5

    maegan ✷

    FINAL RATING: 3.5 STARS Two things, before anything: I know comic issues are generally short, and I know that this is only the first issue to a promising saga of Maxim Maresh's life. Because this first issue definitely shows that: The Steel Prince is a tale full of untold stories regarding the heir of Arnes. But am I a little disappointed? You could say that. I'm going to continue reading this per issue (no doubt about that), but I honestly expected more. It just felt too short, and it felt too mu FINAL RATING: 3.5 STARS Two things, before anything: I know comic issues are generally short, and I know that this is only the first issue to a promising saga of Maxim Maresh's life. Because this first issue definitely shows that: The Steel Prince is a tale full of untold stories regarding the heir of Arnes. But am I a little disappointed? You could say that. I'm going to continue reading this per issue (no doubt about that), but I honestly expected more. It just felt too short, and it felt too much like an introductory issue that didn't reveal anything new. (So if you're a little tight on the budget and you don't fancy yourself a collector, I suggest buying the whole volume instead of buying it per issue.) I like the art style, though. I know everyone has a certain style they're attuned to, and I'm quite fond of this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Casandra

    Aside from Vicious (which I’m slowly but surely making my way through) this is the fast piece from Victoria Schwab that I’ve read since I met her last week and I’m BUZZING I LOVE HER SO MUCH! She talked about her comic when I saw her in Boston and I was excited about it then. But after reading issue 1, I’m even more excited to read the future issues!! This was AMAZING! The art is so beautiful and rich. It fit the world so well. And the writing was simply extraordinary - not that I expected anythi Aside from Vicious (which I’m slowly but surely making my way through) this is the fast piece from Victoria Schwab that I’ve read since I met her last week and I’m BUZZING I LOVE HER SO MUCH! She talked about her comic when I saw her in Boston and I was excited about it then. But after reading issue 1, I’m even more excited to read the future issues!! This was AMAZING! The art is so beautiful and rich. It fit the world so well. And the writing was simply extraordinary - not that I expected anything different from Victoria. She truly did it again. Overall, I’m just so happy to be back in the work of ADSOM once more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    julia

    I'm so excited to see where this story goes. I loved the Shades of Magic series (one of my all time favorite fantasy series) and the cover for this immediately pulled me in. 4/5, full review to come.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    This is such a promising start, I cannot wait for the other issues ♥ This is such a promising start, I cannot wait for the other issues ♥️

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Loved the artwork, especially the visualization of the magic

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessy

    I absolutely love the art. It's stunning, really guys. I already know that this is going to be epic. What bothered me though were the action scenes. They were quite confusing and I didn't know what was happening or whom it happend to. Also, this was a little short, but I should have expected that. This is how comics work. But this is actually the first time I am reading a comic issue by issue and not the bind-up, so I'll have to get used to it. Or maybe I'll just wait for the bind-up to come out. I absolutely love the art. It's stunning, really guys. I already know that this is going to be epic. What bothered me though were the action scenes. They were quite confusing and I didn't know what was happening or whom it happend to. Also, this was a little short, but I should have expected that. This is how comics work. But this is actually the first time I am reading a comic issue by issue and not the bind-up, so I'll have to get used to it. Or maybe I'll just wait for the bind-up to come out. But the different covers are just so beautiful that I know I'll end up buying them anyways haha. A solid introduction that leaves me hoping for more. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr

  15. 5 out of 5

    The Awkward Bibliophile

    --Just realised I accidentally put this review onto the bind up, rather than the first issue-- OH MY GOD I'VE MISSED THIS WORLD SO MUCH!!!! Being able to see Maxim and his own story is brilliant! Reading SHADES OF MAGIC I did like his character for the most part, so it's great to be able to delve into his character's backstory and find out even more about him. It's great to see the world of SHADES OF MAGIC recreated in such a beautiful visual medium, as the artwork is STUNNING!! We've already bee --Just realised I accidentally put this review onto the bind up, rather than the first issue-- OH MY GOD I'VE MISSED THIS WORLD SO MUCH!!!! Being able to see Maxim and his own story is brilliant! Reading SHADES OF MAGIC I did like his character for the most part, so it's great to be able to delve into his character's backstory and find out even more about him. It's great to see the world of SHADES OF MAGIC recreated in such a beautiful visual medium, as the artwork is STUNNING!! We've already been introduced to a range of new characters, AND EVEN TIERAN IS THERE!!!!😄😄 Which for some reason I didn't consider him making an appearance even though it was said in the SHADES OF MAGIC series how he was there when Maxim was growing up. But this dives straight in with the story, and already I can see part of Maxim's character that's seen in SHADES OF MAGIC and I love it. I'M JUST SO EXCITED FOR THIS PREQUEL SERIES AND CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ISSUE😄😄😄😄

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)

    I haven't read the Shades of Magic series even though it's been on my list for a few years now. I've loved V.E. Schwab's other books, so I'm confident it will be equally, if not more, enjoyable! However, not reading the books didn't deter me from grabbing this comic when it was released. I had no prior knowledge of the world, but thought Schwab did an awesome job explaining everything at the start. It was concise but not overwhelming, which is always a bonus. New worlds can sometimes be overexpla I haven't read the Shades of Magic series even though it's been on my list for a few years now. I've loved V.E. Schwab's other books, so I'm confident it will be equally, if not more, enjoyable! However, not reading the books didn't deter me from grabbing this comic when it was released. I had no prior knowledge of the world, but thought Schwab did an awesome job explaining everything at the start. It was concise but not overwhelming, which is always a bonus. New worlds can sometimes be overexplained, but I only know the basics. There's still so much to see and learn! Despite being unfamiliar with the world and the characters, I really enjoyed this comic! I'm curious to learn more about Maxim, the reasons for his exile, and why his father is so against reuniting the different worlds. If you know something, don't tell me! Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on November 13, 2018.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ilse

    Okay so I don't completely know what to rate this because this issue was just an introduction so I'm guessing the next issue is going to go into detail about the story itself but I already love it so much! I love the page where it shows how the London's were sealed off from each other I may have stated at that page for like 5 minutes taking in every detail so I guess that alone makes it deserve 5 stars! Though I'm also going a big towards 4.5 stars, not just because it's an introduction but also Okay so I don't completely know what to rate this because this issue was just an introduction so I'm guessing the next issue is going to go into detail about the story itself but I already love it so much! I love the page where it shows how the London's were sealed off from each other I may have stated at that page for like 5 minutes taking in every detail so I guess that alone makes it deserve 5 stars! Though I'm also going a big towards 4.5 stars, not just because it's an introduction but also because the art style can sometimes be a bit disorienting but that can also be because when I read comics they're often the more I guess 'modern??' ones?? That have a bit less detail and thus are easier to follow, but also this gave me a great excuse to go through this super slowly since it's sadly only a few pages and enjoy every single page of this so far!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Morgan (The Bookish Beagle)

    What a fantastic surprise to find this on my iPad tonight!! I forgot the release date haha. I already love where the story is heading and it's interesting to see Maxim as much more arrogant and impetuous, like his son, rather than the king we've met in Shades of Magic. The artwork is beautiful, although the shading on the faces is a little extreme- I think I like cleaner lines but I'm by no means a comics expert. The way the magic is drawn though!! Ah!! Can't wait for the next issue.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren (AWriterCanDream)

    Definitely a different approach to a prequel, but I loved it. Schwab was right thinking that Maxim’s story needed more attention, especially after the events in her final book of Darker Shades of Magic. The graphics were beautiful and full of contrasts, the magic of the world on full display. I think I’d still like a full length novel or novella to cover Maxims story, but the graphic novel gives the story a uniqueness all its own. If you aren’t big into comics, I definitely recommend buying on k Definitely a different approach to a prequel, but I loved it. Schwab was right thinking that Maxim’s story needed more attention, especially after the events in her final book of Darker Shades of Magic. The graphics were beautiful and full of contrasts, the magic of the world on full display. I think I’d still like a full length novel or novella to cover Maxims story, but the graphic novel gives the story a uniqueness all its own. If you aren’t big into comics, I definitely recommend buying on kindle, book, or through iTunes; it’s cheaper and probably easier to obtain if you don’t have comic book stores nearby. Supposedly a physical edition will be released to amazon at least in February 2019, but that’s just according to Amazon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    R. L. Carlo

    I forget how quick these comics are to read. I love the graphic novels which feel more like a book since you get the whole story at once. But the first volume of Steel Prince grabbed my attention. Excited to read the next one!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mike E

    I need more!!!!!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    i am so in love you have no idea, why does it have to be so short? 😭😭

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Plot This is going to be a short review since this is a comic review on each issue and not the full bind up that is coming in April of 2019. The comic is short like many comics so obviously, this won't be as long. This is a prequel comic series to the original Shades of Magic trilogy starting Kell, Rhy, Lila, Alucard, and Holland. This series is about Rhy's parents but namely his father Maxim Maresh and how he got the name, Steel Prince. This issue was just a start to what will clearly be an amaz Plot This is going to be a short review since this is a comic review on each issue and not the full bind up that is coming in April of 2019. The comic is short like many comics so obviously, this won't be as long. This is a prequel comic series to the original Shades of Magic trilogy starting Kell, Rhy, Lila, Alucard, and Holland. This series is about Rhy's parents but namely his father Maxim Maresh and how he got the name, Steel Prince. This issue was just a start to what will clearly be an amazing series. I don't know how many volumes Schwab has planned but I can see this going for quite some time. Maxim has been banished to a lawless city called Verose, the Blood Coast, by his father, King Nokil Maresh because he wants to teach him a lesson. While there, Maxim gets into a few scrimmages. We meet Isra, who we met in A Conjuring of Light, a city guard so, I assume we will see how she became the royal guard. This issue ends with a slight cliffhanger because the newly returned Pirate Queen is apparently back. I enjoyed this a lot. It is quick and easy to read. I had to get used to how comic books layout their plot and how to read the voices of each person but I got it quickly. The art inside and all four cover variants are gorgeous. I can't wait for issue # 2-4 and I am excited to buy the bind up as well. I think this will be a great series and I am so happy she did it as a comic.  Characters Maxim is a young prince in red London looking for forbidden magic. He is headstrong and we see here where he gets his love for his people. He doesn't give up easily and he is intense. We also got to see a bit of a funnier side to him which we don't get to see when he is King and a strict dad lol. Everyone else is a side character but his dad Nokil is strict and clearly someone set in his ways. Isra is a city guard who knows how to fight and protects her own. I think from the little we saw of the Pirate Queen we are in for a treat with the antagonist. Most of the characters were POC which is really nice and Victoria has always been good with diversity in her characters.  Writing As always, the writing is good. Even in comic book form, Victoria pulls me into her worlds. And in this medium, we get to see the scenes in all their glory so, we really get to step into this world. The world which Maxim lives is dark, raw, gritty and about to get very dangerous. I love how she added the history of the four Londons at the beginning to draw us back into the Shades of Magic universe. No matter where she writes, Miss Victoria Schwab does it right.  Favorite Quote My father wishes to put me in my place by casting me out of it. Thrusting me into deep water. I will show him how far I can swim.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Short Review I'm a pretty big fan of Schwab's, so I wanted to see how well her work would translate to comics. I got to say, quite well. This comic takes place thirty years in the past with Maxim Maresh, who in the Darker Shade of Magic series wasn't really a great character--sort of an antagonist you can say because of just how mean he could be to Kell and to Rhy, even. Anyway, this story sets up his arc for the series. In The Steel Prince, he's young, brash, cares about this world to the point Short Review I'm a pretty big fan of Schwab's, so I wanted to see how well her work would translate to comics. I got to say, quite well. This comic takes place thirty years in the past with Maxim Maresh, who in the Darker Shade of Magic series wasn't really a great character--sort of an antagonist you can say because of just how mean he could be to Kell and to Rhy, even. Anyway, this story sets up his arc for the series. In The Steel Prince, he's young, brash, cares about this world to the point that he knows magic will fail so he's looking for Antari magicians--only his father, The King, is not thrilled. So, he's banished to the part of the lawless part of the Arnesian empire. The story in this edition is just a lot of set up. The main issue we see is that Maxim has grown up in London and is not used to the lawless nature of the Arnesian coast. So, it will be interesting to see. However, for those who have read the series we get to see Isra! Anyway, the art is pretty gorgeous in some panels, but in others it seems kind of washed out? I read this via Comixcology only because my local comic book store are jerks. They don't have it in stock and refused to order it because they don't think it's wanted. They even laughed at me about it, so I'm going to get this via Comixcology until the bind up comes out and then get that in hard copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    DCybele

    This might seem strange but I’ve only read the first book of the Shades of Magic trilogy, therefore I knew nothing about Maxim as a character in that series. I was delighted to return to that universe -one of the only thing I enjoyed in the novels- which has been translated so uniquely through stunning graphics and art style. The art style (Dishonered! Dishonered!) is actually my favourite thing so far and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Many people seemed to find this short or too introduction-lik This might seem strange but I’ve only read the first book of the Shades of Magic trilogy, therefore I knew nothing about Maxim as a character in that series. I was delighted to return to that universe -one of the only thing I enjoyed in the novels- which has been translated so uniquely through stunning graphics and art style. The art style (Dishonered! Dishonered!) is actually my favourite thing so far and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Many people seemed to find this short or too introduction-like but that’s how comic issues work and for a first issue? Damn that was nice and I am intrigued, though the story does not promise something outstanding -which is not what I want of it anyway. I will definitely continue the series! (please can moustache solider dude be a character? Thank you)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    A very basic introduction with some weird choreography / panel layouts that had me curious about what was actually supposed to be happening in that fight. I do like how the magic appears in this graphic novel, even if it doesn’t quite match the image I had in my mind from reading the book. Drawing style was a bit difficult to distinguish characters from one another and the I also had that aforementioned action scene confusion. Wouldn’t recommend for those new to Shades of Magic, as it feels a bit A very basic introduction with some weird choreography / panel layouts that had me curious about what was actually supposed to be happening in that fight. I do like how the magic appears in this graphic novel, even if it doesn’t quite match the image I had in my mind from reading the book. Drawing style was a bit difficult to distinguish characters from one another and the I also had that aforementioned action scene confusion. Wouldn’t recommend for those new to Shades of Magic, as it feels a bit plot-thin compared to the novels.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I will definitely be waiting to read the VOLUME. I hate reading by issues, and reading comics on kindle, but I've wanted to read this for so long that I just did not care to wait or go to a comic book store to get them. But now, I'd rather wait. Because this was good, but I couldn't really enjoy it because it was hard to really SEE the panels; I got confused by quite a few of them, especially once more characters showed up. But that ending? FANTASTIC.

  28. 4 out of 5

    ReadandGiggles

    Obviously I haven't finished A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy but I just had to pick this graphic novel up. I was just ingrigued by the cover of it. Absolutely stunning! The artists for this novel did an outstanding job. It's just amazing that a POC is the main character of a fantasy novel. I loved every bit of it. I'm really looking forward to knowing who the Steel Prince is and who the Queen is.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christina Bandiera

    This is only volume one of three and very short, so hard to rate! However it's a very beautifully designed comic and when I came to the end of it, I was sad I didn't have volume two at hand, so I definitely enjoyed it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    The first issue of @veschwab's comic book series The Steel Prince is here and it is great! 😁 It is short because it is only one issue, but it still packs a punch and it's so exciting to explore the world of Red London further. Based on that last page I can't wait for the next issue in November!

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