Monstress, Vol. 6: The Vow by Marjorie M. Liu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the sixth volume in this long-running grimdark epic fantasy, and the endgame is still not in sight. In contrast to the battles and blood-dripping gore of the previous volume, this volume is quieter and focuses more on the protagonist Maika Halfwolf and her estranged lover Tuya (who, in a rather squicky plot development, was forced to marry Maika's aunt, the Warlord). This leads to the shocking cliffhanger in the final pages, and while I dislike cliffhangers in general, I must admit this one is effective.
The only thing I would change about this is: more Kippa. Which is why I liked the two "talk stories" at the beginning of the book, two mini-comics focusing on Kippa and Maika's childhoods, almost more than the main story. Both stories are small flickering beacons of hope in the girls' lives, before the unrelenting horrors of the main storyline.
Sana Takeda's art is sublime as always, but I wish she had a little more differentiation of the main characters: at times, it's hard to tell Tuya from Maika from the Warlord. But due to the overall grimness of the story, the color palette is rather is limited. Nevertheless, this series continues to hold my interest.
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