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Fairest: In All the Land Paperback – November 25, 2014

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Omniscient powers of observation come in pretty handy when there’s a serial murderer on the loose, but the Magic Mirror still needs a mobile body to do the bulk of the legwork, and that’s where Cinderella—a pretty good detective herself—comes in. In this stand-alone graphic novel tied to Willingham’s monthly comic Fairest, someone is murdering the fairest of them all, and Cinderella takes on the task of hunting down the killer and protecting the rest of the targets. As she traverses the Fables universe, encountering many faces familiar to fans of the long-running series, she’s aided by the Magic Mirror and his storage-bound companions as they do their own investigation into the magical implements (and possible murder weapon) missing from the catacombs beneath their room. Each scene is illustrated by a different artist, showcasing a wide range of styles, from painterly portraits to panel-spanning action. Though familiarity with Fables and Fairest would come in handy, Willingham does a great job of telegraphing enough background that this volume can easily stand on its own. --Sarah Hunter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Entertaining.... It's briskly paced and full of all the action and intrigue than one would hope for."—IGN

"Willingham's efforts here are as entertaining as they are in "Fables"; with witty dialogue, specific characterization, pell-mell adventure and little details that tickle your childhood fairy-tale memories. Fairest was enormous fun."—Scripps Howard News Service

"Vertigo Comics and Bill Willingham have another guaranteed winner on their hands. I would imagine "Fairest" will have an immediate fanbase ready to make the jump from "Fables" to this book. This is a great place for people unfamiliar with "Fables" to jump on board and try something new."—Yahoo! Voices

"A rollicking good adventure tale, filled with all the humor, creativity, and stellar art Fables fans have come to expect from Bill Willingham's mini-empire of fair tale based comics."—MTV Geek!

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Product Details

  • Series: Fairest
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (November 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401245579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401245573
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Willingham never fought a desperate and losing battle in a good cause, never contributed to society in a meaningful way, and hasn't lived a life of adventure, but he's had a few moments of near adventure. At some point in his life Bill learned how to get paid for telling scurrilous lies to good people, and he's been doing it ever since. He lives in the wild and frosty woods of Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scott Knight on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Fairest by Bill Willingham is a spin-off from his extremely popular and award-winning comic Fables. Fairest stars many of the "princess" types from fairy tales: Snow White, Rose Red, Beauty, Cinderella, etc. This particular volume is a stand-alone story that loosely ties in to events in the main Fables book (I highly recommend reading Fables Vol. 19: Snow White first due to some spoilers in Fairest), as it resolves several dangling plot threads.

Cinderella (a super spy) is hired by the mayor of Fabletown to solve a double murder. Along the way, she discovers a hit-list and several more murders. Using a magic car, and receiving some assistance from Bo Peep, Cinderella has less than a week to discover who is killing fables and stop them from finishing the list. A framing story told by the Magic Mirror (mirror, mirror on the wall...) sets up the situation and acts as a transition from day-to-day, as he follows Cinderella's every move. Because this is a mystery, I'll stop the summary there for fear of revealing any spoilers. However, this is another excellent entry in the Fairest/Fables series.

Willingham is a fantastic writer, and his ability to blend multiple fairy tale stories into one seamless history is wonderful. He also does a fantastic job of taking children's characters and giving them a more adult spin. The characters have depth and continue to evolve and change. Cinderella is fast becoming a favorite character of mine, right up there with Bigby Wolf.

The art, by a variety of artists, is beautiful as well.

I highly recommend Fairest, particularly to those who like a modern take on fairy tales, or are fans of the show Once Upon A Time.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kate on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
**Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy**

A while back I read a blog post (I can’t remember where) extolling the virtues of the Fables series of comics/graphic novels. I picked up Fables Volume 1 and have been hooked ever since! So, when FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND showed up, I knew I had to read it. FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND is a stand-alone graphic novel set in the same world as the Fables and Fairest series, with a murder mystery and a magic mirror subplot, and is as enchanting as all the others, with lovely artwork by many different artists.

FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND’s mystery stars Cinderella as a detective, and has a gritty, noir-ish feel to it, as much as one can get in a comic book. The reader is in on a few more details due to the interludes with the magic mirror, but the ending still had me surprised. The magic mirror had the tendency to get a bit wordy, but overall I enjoyed the little breaks from the mystery and the background the reader got from the mirror about its history and the various fairy tale artifacts.

My only complaint about FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND is that though the artwork is amazing, it was a bit confusing to have so many different styles. It took me a bit to get into a groove, and at the beginning there were a few times where I confused characters – let’s be honest, it’s hard to distinguish between so many blond fairy tale heroines. But once I got used to it, the opportunity to see each individual artist’s style within the same story was fascinating. The differences in graphic novel art isn’t something I would normally think about, so that was a very cool aspect.

FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND is a perfect little mental break – quick and easy to read, fun to look at, and with a nice satisfying murder mystery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Mahnken on December 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Fairest in All the Land is a graphic novel in Bill Willingham's Fairest series, a spinoff from Fables that Willingham is using to explore the stories of the "princesses" of the Fables universe. In Fairest, Willingham has Cinderella investigate the murders of other Fables beauties.

The story in Fairest is pretty slight. The murder mystery isn't much of a mystery, and it's a very quick read. It does clear up some loose ends from Willingham's other work, like the loss of the Magic Mirror and the other objects stored in Fabletown's City Hall, which also sets the stage for further Fables stories. It's worth a read for that reason alone.

However, the real reason to read Fairest is for all the terrific artwork. The graphic novel is really a sampler of the work of many different artists, each of which is given a small section of the story to illustrate. Some of them have worked with Willingham before, while others have not. Although it creates a choppy effect when reading the story, it's a treat to see all of the different artists' interpretations of the Fables characters and their world. Every reader will probably come away with their own personal favorites, and it certainly made me curious to sample more of the work of some of the artists.

Fairest is definitely recommended if you are a fan of Willingham's Fables or are just generally a fan of comic art.

An ARC of Fairest in All the Land was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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