Mouse Guard
Autumn 1152 (Hardback)

Author: David Peterson
Artist: David Peterson
Titan Books
RRP: 12.99, US $24.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 660 3
ISBN-10: 1 84576 660 1
Available 28 September 2007

Mice struggle to live safely and prosper among all of the world's harsh conditions and predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed. They are not simply soldiers that fight off intruders; rather they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden mouse village to another. The Guard patrol borders, find safe ways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predators. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live...

Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152 follows the adventures of three of the Mouse Guard's finest soldiers - Lieam, Saxon and Kenzie - as they seek to uncover a traitorous plot against the Guard. When all three of them set off in search of a missing merchant mouse, they discover something that they'd never imagined would infiltrate the Mouse Guard - a traitor among their own.

As the story unfolds, and the Guard follow the clues, it soon becomes apparent that the future of the Guard is in serious jeopardy. Whether the organisation survives - and whether the enforcers of mouse justice and security can continue to defend their brethren - will depend on the actions of a few.

The first thing to really hit you about this title is just how wonderful the artwork is. While this alone does not make for a great release, it does help to paper over a few tiny cracks, for while the artwork is beautiful, I had a few issues with David Peterson's writing. It's not that it was particularly bad, just that in places it seemed to jump between being a kiddies tale to being an adult tale. And some of the dialogue would have benefited from being slightly reworded - some of it seemed a little lumpy.

That said, this is a pretty well executed title that will provide a visual feast for its readers.

Nick Smithson

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