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Annotation: A peasant boy in the Darkling Realm proves his worth when he must impersonate the missing Prince Talon Pandemonium, a diplomat and warrior.
Catalog Number: #58004
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2012
Illustrator: Diaz, Cassandra,
Pages: 160
Availability: Indefinitely Out of Stock
ISBN: Publisher: 0-439-87759-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-53067-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-439-87759-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-53067-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011046439
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Even though he is popular in his remote village, Seifer longs to see more of the Darkling Realm. He gets his wish when he is kidnapped by palace staff and forced stand in for cruel Prince Talon, whom he resembles. Now Seifer must learn palace etiquette, face death threats, and possibly even get married he can save the kingdom from invasion. Wooding's tale is an odd blend of fantasy elements and offbeat humor, anchored by a main character with an appealingly down-to-earth nature. Though some parts of the story are derivative, readers who enjoy paranormal underdogs will love that the heroes are the black-winged, horned Darklings with morbid names like Asphxia and Tombchewer. Diaz's drawings owe enough to manga to feel like modern teen fan art, but stand on their own thanks to good timing and smart layouts. The rich colors bring the world to life and keep the dark setting from feeling muddy or dim. Give this to readers who like the snark and magic of Ted Naifeh's Courtney Crumrin graphic novels.
Horn Book
In this graphic novel, Seifer Tombchewer is abducted and forced to impersonate Prince Talon of the Darkling Realm and navigate Talon's relationships, both the close and the contentious. Witty banter and slapstick make this as much a romp as it is a dark fantasy. Diaz's illustrations use depth effectively to show the magnitude of the realm and thus Seifer's new responsibility.
Kirkus Reviews
A supposed village lad kidnapped to stand in for the vanished prince he resembles rises to the challenge. More or less. Set in a Darkling Realm of horned, bat-winged people, the tale takes young Seifer Tombchewer (his name inherited from an ancestor who went bonkers after eating "something poisonous that fell asleep in his porridge") to the royal palace of Pandemonium, where he's given the choice of temporarily masquerading as Prince Talon or being fed to "psycho carnage beasts." Making the reasonable choice entails learning how to behave like an arrogant, selfish twit--as well as being mauled by "his" gigantic pet cat, surviving assassination attempts, outbelching the chieftain of a neighboring warrior clan and defeating an invading army. Fortunately, he does have allies, including his royal "sister" Princess Hypoxia and magic-wielding girlfriend-to-be Lady Carcassa, daughter of gambling addict Baron Canasta Malefica. Interspersing outsized GRNARGH! BLORP! SOOG! YAAAAAA! sound effects with scenes featuring sharp-featured, elegantly slender figures, debut illustrator Diaz crafts panels of Japanese comics–style art for Wooding's somewhat less-than-earnest adventure story. The real prince's continued absence, a hint of secrets in Seifer's own past and the sudden arrival of "his" fiancée Lady Asphyxia point to sequels. An action-packed, tongue-in-cheek romp fitted out with snarky dialogue, heroic fantasy tropes aplenty and a notably resilient protagonist. (Graphic novel. 11-13)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up-Seifer Tombchewer lives in a tiny village, and the most excitement he experiences is when he's playing a challenging game of skullball. One day he fulfills his desire to go beyond the mountains and see the rest of the world, but the wish comes about in an unexpected way. Seifer is kidnapped and told that he has to impersonate the missing Prince Talon, with whom he shares an uncanny likeness. As in The Prisoner of Zenda and other similar retellings of this classic story, Seifer starts making decisions very unlike the ones the prince would usually make, and these decisions increase his popularity. He also begins to fall in love with a girl who thinks he's the prince. This story is set in the Darkling Realm, a universe filled with unusual humanoid creatures. Seifer can fly, for example, and this ability is key both in skullball games and in pivotal battle scenes. While this story is fantastical and suspenseful, it is also very funny. The full-color artwork complements the writing style, and Wooding's verbal jokes are matched by Diaz's visual gags. She mixes a traditional cartoon style with a manga edge, and readers will be entranced by the colorful combination of wings, horns, and spiky hair on the characters.&12; Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Word Count: 10,228
Reading Level: 3.2
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.2 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 150074 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q56078
Lexile: GN460L
Guided Reading Level: G
Fountas & Pinnell: G
Acclaimed author Chris Wooding's first graphic novel -- fun fantasy-adventure with a macabre twist!

Seifer's life is about to become a royal pain. . . . As captain of the local skullball team, Seifer Tombchewer is the envy of his peers. He's fast, he's strong, and he flies circles around the competition. But Seifer's always dreamed of more--of leaving his tiny, remote village for a new life beyond the mountains.

He just never dreamed it would happen like this. Knocked unconscious and abducted, Seifer awakens in the royal palace to learn that Prince Talon Pandemonium has gone missing. And since Seifer is a ringer for Talon, it's his duty to replace the missing royal in his roles of diplomat, warrior, and Lord Defender of the Realm.

He might fool Talon's sisters. He might fool Talon's army. But Seifer has little hope of fooling Talon's enemies. . . .

Chris Wooding and debut artist Cassandra Diaz team for a classic tale of mistaken identity set against the breathtakingly original backdrop of the Darkling Realm.

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