09th Nov2020

‘Kerry and the Knight of the Forest’ Graphic Novel Review

by Chris Cummings

Created by Andi Watson | Published by Crown Books | Format: Hardback, 288pp

Andi Watson, who wrote the wonderfully whimsical Glister a few years ago, brings us Kerry and the Knight of the Forest, a middle-grade graphic novel that follows Kerry who is led astray into a forest full of weird and wonderfully fantastical creatures. He must find his way home but his quest is made difficult as he encounters choices to make and dark turns he must get through. It’s an adventure tale of discovering yourself, of trust and loss, and of finding your way in life, even if it means traversing through a difficult terrain.

It’s a really charming story, and the artwork is beautiful yet somewhat simplistic. It works wonders for the tone of the whole thing, as this fairytale-like adventure unfolds and we encounter these issues and characters, it feels like an old-fashioned cautionary tale, but also a story of becoming, a coming-of-age yarn, and it’s delightful.

The abstract-esque drawing of the book manages to feel both contemporary but classical, and the way the story unfolds, with Kerry encountering monsters and being forced to make decisions that will affect his life and his journey home. I was swept up in the narrative and fully invested in Kerry’s passage through the forest. I loved the way the creatures and the woods were realised visually, and in the end I found the whole thing to be incredibly heart-warming and fun, a caper with meaning that felt like a modern day weaving of a bygone fable.

Regardless of your age, I recommend Kerry and the Knight of the Forest highly. It’s a gorgeous book and the parable within is not something that is relevant to just a young reader, but to anyone who has ever been on a personal trip of conscience. Watson has become a real strength in the genre, and I always look forward to seeing what he does next. A playful, fantastical, quirky and easy to read graphic novel that nails the theme completely, it’s undoubtedly one to seek out and enjoy. I certainly did.

***** 5/5


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