The Captive Prince by Scott Chantler is the third graphic novel in the Three Thieves series, of which I as completely oblivious so I was initially confused by what I was reading, being dropped in the middle of a story that had obviously already started. Dessa and her companion Fisk, an Ettin, and Topper, a Norker, are on the run from a queen in the north, presumably one with dragons. But I’m guessing the events that led to the three of them being on the run was told in books 1 and 2.
The main characters seem somewhat static but are interesting. The drawings are fun and vibrant, with an edgy sophistication and a minimalist expressiveness. It is evident that the audience for this (and presumably the previous two) graphic novel is middle grades and high school. Jumping into the series in the third book as I did was an oversight on my part.
Nonetheless, I was able to catch up with where the story, and the Three Thieves, had been. I may have even picked up on a running gag in this third book. The impetuous behavior of Dessa results in the three accidentally saving Prince Paladin and they soon find themselves in his kingdom being honored as heroes. Although Paladin’s father has other plans for his son, the prince and the runaway girl begin to grow closer even as trouble continues to converge, with bounty hunters and kidnappers all coming together in the climax. And there’s a cliffhanger epilogue tacked onto the end.
Although Dessa and her companions don’t change, the prince is deeply affected by the events that occur in this third book and I can only hope he appears again in a future volume because, as the epilogue lets the reader know, there is definitely more to come. Now, of course, I want to go back and read the first two books in the series, the ones I didn’t even know were out there.