Write what you know or simply make it all up!

Co-created by writer Dave Chua and artist Koh Hong Teng, The Prodigy: Blade of the Chrysalis is the first volume of series of fantasy graphic novels set in a world inspired by Asian mythology.

In that context, the immediate reference point would be Ken Liu’s acclaimed The Dandelion Dynasty, famously described as the Wujia version of the Game of Thrones!

Volume 1 functions mainly as an introduction to this new world which revolves around two warring kingdoms viz. The Isles of Urusha and Katchana and the various characters caught up in these events.

While the plot and characterisations work hard to get our attention, it is the black and white artwork that succeeds in drawing us in. There are many instances where Koh’s intricate work will invoke responses of awe and wonder (see above) but elsewhere his ability to make characters distinctive aids immeasurably in the storytelling.

The socio-political dynamic in this story will bear development but what stands out are the intriguing powers demonstrated by the characters and the interplay amongst diverse personalities.

I sincerely hope that Chua and Koh get the opportunity to develop this interesting concept further! Available online.

still there’s more

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