Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Geis - A Game Without Rules by Alexis Deacon

A Game Without Rules (2017) continues the beguiling story begun in Geis - A Matter of Life and Death (2016), the extraordinary, beautiful graphic novel by Alexis Deacon.

When the chief matriarch dies without an heir, a contest is held to find a new ruler for the island state. Fifty contestants - some of them the least likely competitors - then begin some peculiar and deadly games...

Page 81 of Geis - A Game Without Rules
by Alexis Deacon
I've followed Alexis' career for some time as we have a mutual friend (who introduced us, very briefly, late last year because I asked). His books for younger children - Slow Loris, I Am Henry Finch - have been favourites of the Lord of Chaos.

Geis is aimed at older readers and presents an absorbing, rich fantasy world full of strangeness and horror and magic. I meant to post here in praise of the first volume but only got so far as a tweet:

"Geis by Alexis Deacon is great: eerie, epic
fantasy like a fairy tale twisting wrong. Plus
people wear amusingly shaped hats."

The second volume is just as enthralling, full of the same dream-like disquiet and sudden shocking turns - and those excellent hats. The characters from the first book are caught up in games and plots they barely understand, and which not all of them survive. The violence is implied rather than shown, but the beautiful artwork and lightness of touch in the storytelling are underpinned by constant, real threat. A book that compels you to read on.

I eagerly anticipate the third volume, The Will That Shapes The World. You can see more artwork from Geis on Alexis Deacon's website.

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