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Amulet vol 4: The Last Council

Amulet vol 4: The Last Council

Amulet vol 4: The Last Council back

Kazu Kibuishi


Page 45 Review by Stephen

"I feel like I just showed up to a final exam I didn't study for."

Attention young ladies, this is early and pre-teen series I'm sure to show you first!

Breathtakingly beautiful fantasy informed by a love of Hayao Miyazaki which now goes sky high to the city of Cielis where Emily, her brother, mother and their anthropomorphic allies have finally secured an audience with the Guardian Council. It's their aid they need to counter the invasion forces of the Elf King, but the Council don't appear interested in helping or even listening. Instead they are keener to test Emily's mettle and what she can do as an apprentice Stonekeeper. It is here, after all, buried deep in the catacombs, that the Mother Stone resides: the original source of the seemingly sentient crystals which grant their wielders such impressive telekinetic powers once they've learned how to wield them.

Isolated from Emily, her friends grow suspicious immediately: the once splendid city is now little more than a ghost town whose terrified population hides indoors for fear of arrest. Worse still, those implacable guards who sweep former friends or family away are those thought long-dead. Could it be that Emily's last hope of help is an even worse nightmare than the one she is so desperate to prevent? Secrets and illusions: it will take new and the unlikeliest of allies - like the Elf King's son himself - to survive the floating isle but even then, it may be that the enemy has planned further ahead than they thought.

As ever there are some magnificent visual flourishes. The city itself, floating high up in the clouds at sunrise, is a spectacular mix of Florentine Renaissance and Roman Baroque architecture. Miskit And Cogsley discover a secret lagoon with its homestead hidden through a cliff-face cave; Emily's trial will take into misty, aquatic, Tombraider-like caverns and monumental, death-trap halls; and the final double-page spread at night is dazzling.

We learn a little more of the history of the Council and meet one of its former members who knew Emily's great-grandfather well. We also get to see Emily really let rip, and I wonder if there's a clue in the shape of a certain telepathic speech balloon. Hmm... I don't know how long this series is projected to run, but it's far from finished here. Nor is Emily.