BOOK REVIEW – Fables: Legends in Exile (Volume 1)

TITLE: Fables: Legends in Exile (Volume 1)
AUTHOR: Bill Willingham
ILLUSTRATOR: Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha and Craig Hamilton
RATING: 3.5/5
SUMMARY: When the Fable community, a bunch of fairytale characters who reside in New York, has a murder to solve the Big Bad Wolf is called to action to solve the mystery.
WARNING: It does have some explicit sex scenes and nudity.

I first found of about the Fables graphic novels after watching a play-through of The Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games on YouTube. I watch these play-throughs as if they were show because they are episodic and it works like a show. Anyways, I watched the entire game and I was enthralled by the concept of fairy tale characters coming to our world, but unlike Once Upon a Time, these characters know who they were and where they came from. Eventually (2 years later), I finally decided to read the comics.

If Once Upon a Time and Bones / any detective show had a baby, this would be it. Because of this, I do find the story much darker compared to other things that have a similar concept of bringing fairytale characters to our world or changing their world. However, this is precisely what I liked about this spin on fairytales. Usually, these type of spins are aimed at younger audiences, and I’m sorry but I’m not 10 anymore, so this happens to be just perfect for me.

I liked the world building, I definitely want to find out more about how they ended up in New York City, and how their lives were in their homelands. I especially liked this whole concept of having to hide their identity from “mundies” using glamours, and how depending on what type of species they were they have a place to go in our world. The story also lends to comedic moments due to everyone’s pasts, which is always a pleasant reminder of the stories you heard as a kid. 

My favorite aspect of the story is how different some of the characters are from their original stories. For example, I love how big of a douche Prince Charming is because it’s so far away from his typical portrayal in fairytale inspired stories. He’s usually either, charming and beautiful with a heart of gold or, so narcissistic that he spends all his time looking at himself in the mirror. Meanwhile, Bigby Wolf, literally The Big Bad Wolf, is now a caring (albeit aggressive) detective of the Fable community.

The reason why I didn’t give it a whole 5 stars, or even 4, is because while I read it I wasn’t entirely enjoying it. Mainly, because I kept thinking that Red Rose’s murder was the start of something much bigger, and honestly I wasn’t ready to embark on such a long journey to figure out who her murderer is. Personally, I don’t like huge mysteries that take several books or seasons to uncover. (Also the reason why I will NEVER read Pretty Little Liars) Which is why I really enjoyed the ending of this volume and I hope every volume ends in a similar note; with a reasonable resolution

As far as the art goes, it didn’t blow me away. I think it’s because the pages aren’t glossy enough… maybe they should invest in glossy pretty paper. However, the art before each volume are all beautiful and very different to the rest of the art style in the book.

I will definitely read the next volume, and decide after that if I want to continue reading the rest.

P.S. I am so shipping Bigby Wolf with Snow White. It already feels like the first six seasons of Bones.

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6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW – Fables: Legends in Exile (Volume 1)

  1. Pingback: May Reads – Reading Turtle Duck

  2. It’s funny that we started to read these series for the same reason: After having played The Wolf Among Us. Well, in your case you have watched a play through. In my case, I have played the game (over and over again haha). But yes, I agree with many of your points there, but mostly because this issue felt a bit ‘episodic’ and didn’t give much insight into the world. I am wondering if you are curious about the actual comic book series that they have made out of the game, ‘The Wolf Among Us’, which is an extra for the Fables series?


  3. I wasn’t fan of the art, either. I like the Ms. Marvel type or Saga, but this art looks old and kinda sloppy to me. See, I actually didn’t like how different from the originals the characters were! I wanted more similarity in appearance and personality and even the plot 😛 Great review, though!!


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