09th Jan2020

‘Rivers of London: The Fey & The Furious #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel | Art by Mariano Laclaustra | Published by Titan Comics


When I think about it too deeply, the last two issues of this book have been pretty lightweight in many respects, yet I have enjoyed them immensely. Even when other story arcs in the past have been a bit lacklustre, what keeps the book ticking over nicely is the strong characterisation, great dialogue, and the setting in a London that’s recognisable on the surface but has a whole lot more going on underneath. It shares a lot with the Hellblazer book back in the day in that respect, though with less swearing and demonic mutilation. Good storylines come and go, but as long as your concept and your characters are strong, you won’t go wrong. Rivers of London is proof of that.

So last issue continued the delicious combination of street racing and magic, which of course gives Aaronovitch and Cartmel the perfect excuse for their trademark pun titles. ‘The Fey and the Furious’ indeed. Peter got his chance to compete in one of these faerie organised races, going undercover to try and find out just why they are taking place and why a car had a consignment of unicorn horns in it. Peter, using both fair means and foul, managed to get to the front of the race before, er, disappearing into thin air. Which is never good.

Peter puts it far better with a typical F-bomb, but essentially he finds himself in Fairyland. Not the Disney fairyland you think you know, but a much more darker, dangerous place. Even worse, his magic does not work there. After some knowing banter with a pretty friendly local resident, Thingy the Third who’s from far, far away, Peter gets the lie of the land, and heads for the only building in sight, a huge castle on a huge hill. This, apparently, is where the King and Queen live, and where the other winning race competitors are staying. Peter parks his modern sports car with the other modern sports cars in the courtyard of the medieval castle, a nice sight gag right there.

So what magical denizen does he first encounter in the castle? Emmanuel Cross, from Basildon, Essex. Apparently he’s an ‘economic migrant’ at the Castle Perilous, something that makes more sense as Peter observes things around him. Although in Fairyland, there seems to be a curiously large amount of man made things, like concrete for buildings and tinned hot dogs. Not forgetting the Ferrero Rocher of course. Peter speaks to the other drivers, and does his own little walkabout, where he notices most the food is human, obviously imported from the ‘real’ world. So just how are these things being paid for? Turns out that boot full of unicorn horns is the reason. People are paying a fortune for unicorn horns, believing they bestow longevity or immortality. One born every minute.

So, while Peter has been fact finding and making new friends, Beverley and Nightingale have been trying to find a way to follow him. They work out that there is a route from Holland and Beverley travels over there, meeting Liesbeth Visser from the first issue, whom Nightingale had given a heads up to help Beverley. Help may be on its way. That would be nice, as Peter has been challenged to hand to hand combat by Proud Aeronwen, a tough fairy warrior. With no magic. Next issue may be a short one.

Yet again, a consistently fun and entertaining issue, the story moving along nicely but not giving it all away just yet. Next issue should be fun. The writing and dialogue never disappoints, and the art by Laclaustra is perfect for the book, keeping the same clean look Lee Sullivan gave it. Next issue should be a fun wrap up. I just hope Peter’s car doesn’t break down in fairyland, it might get toad.


**** 4/5


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