Lightfall is a new series of fantasy graphic novels from American illustrator Tim Probert. If the Girl & the Galdurian is a taste of things to come then readers are in for an absolute treat.
Beatrice (Bea) lives with her kind Gramps - Alfirid the Pig Wizard - who adopted her when she was young. In the heart of the forest, the pair live a simple and quiet life in their potions shop, concocting elixirs and protecting the Jar of Endless Flame. Bea surrounds herself with books, maps and drawings and enjoys exploring the forest whilst sourcing ingredients for her Gramps’ potions.
It is on one such trip she meets Cad - a Galdurian, the last of an extinct race that are believed to have died out over five-hundred years ago. Cad is desperately tying to find Galduria in the hope that he will be reunited with his family and he believes that the person who may be able to help him is none other than Bea’s Gramps. But when the pair return home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found and the only clue to his whereabouts is a note about the Seal of the Restless Sleeper.
Elsewhere in Irpa, dark forces are awakening. Forces that threaten to plunge the world into darkness. Cal and Bea need to find the Pig Wizard but with danger and dark forces mounting, can they get to him before darkness descends forever…
Lightfall is an epic quest through a richly imagined world. As with all great quests, there are challenges to overcome and danger, peril and life-threatening moments are never far away. Whether it be surviving Claw Valley, braving the Cursed Temple, avoiding becoming spit-roasted by an angry mob of lizards, dealing with a thieving rat or battling tentacled monsters, there are plenty of things standing in the way of the two intrepid adventurers and the Pig Wizard.
Full of heart, hope and Cad’s insatiable appetite for life and making the best of everything, the pair make for a delightful duo who have the ability, teamwork and necessary luck to overcome even the slimmest of odds. Cad is a brilliant foil for the anxious, nervous and worrying Bea whose troubles and fears often appear in black swirls that surround her. By the closing pages, Cad has helped Bea unlock the bravery within herself and cheerfully tells her that after everything that they have been through together she is doing pretty good even if she does get grumpy too often. A wonderful friendship develops between the two and they quickly form a bond of trust that is centred around a shared desire to both be reunited with family (and not to forget, stopping the world being plunged into eternal darkness).
Detailed artwork is beautiful and vividly brings to life the land of Irpa. As Bea embarks on a journey that takes her far from home, sweeping landscapes unveil before her eyes and will leave the reader longing to be a part of this wonderful world. I love a book with a map and the double page spread of Irpa is splendid in its shades of brown and green.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to find out all we want to know in book one but that is a very good thing as that can only mean a sequel. The cliffhanger ending sets up perfectly for book two and I am excited to see what happens next.
Recommended for 8+.