March of the Wooden Soldiers

Author: Bill Willingham
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP: 9.99
ISBN 1 84023 918 2
Available 26 November 2004

For centuries the Fables have watched the gateways between our mundane world and their lost magical homelands, ever on guard for signs of invasion. Now, after decades of quiet, it seems that someone has finally escaped the Adversary's oppression and made it to sanctuary. But appearances, as always, can be deceiving, and there's plenty about this refugee's story that smells wrong to the right noses. In fact, things are already under way for the complete destruction of Fabletown, and every one of its citizens is about to get a refresher course in the unforgiving lessons of war...

March of the Wooden Soldiers opens with a flashback to the days when the Fables lived in their own land and explains the events that led vast number of them laid down their lives in order that the lucky few were allowed to escape into our world.

Boy Blue believe his beloved Red Riding Hood was killed in the masacre in their homelands, so it comes as something of a surprise to him, and the rest of Fabletown, when she turns up having escaped her captors. However, Bigby Wolf smells a rat and starts to dig around to see how reliable Riding Hood's story really is.

This collection helps to fill in the back story for those who have followed the Fables releases, but were eager to learn how they managed to reach our world - and why some of the fictional characters never made it.

Author Bill Willingham weaves an intricate plot full of surprises and dark humour (the fate of Pinocchio being about the best example). Fans of the series will love this collection, and those new to the Fables world can easily pick this up and jump straight into the action.

Darren Rea

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