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Bill Willingham – Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire

November 19, 2008

144. Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Michael Allred, Andrew Pepoy (2007)
Fables, Volume 9

Read My Review of Volume:

  1. Legends in Exile
  2. Animal Farm
  3. Storybook Love
  4. March of the Wooden Soldiers
  1. The Mean Seasons
  2. Homelands
  3. Arabian Nights (and Days)
  4. Wolves

Length: 200 pages
Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 15 November 2008
Finished: 16 November 2008

War is coming to
Fabletown, and it isn’t
gonna be pretty.

Summary: Sons of Empire shakes up the traditional format yet again. The main story, “Sons of Empire”, concerns the Adversary’s plan to conquer the Fables – and the Mundy world on which they live – except by “conquer”, he means “completely annihilate.” Rather than being told in a straight-through story arc, however, it’s broken into chapters, with short (2-3 page) intermezzos introducing or developing other peripheral Fables. Next there’s a one-issue story, “Jiminy Christmas”, in which Snow and Bigby’s cubs prepare for their first Christmas as a family, and then a two-part continuation, “Fathers and Sons”, where they take the kids to visit their grandfather, Mr. North, and we get a little more insight into Bigby’s family relations.

Review: Very interesting, and totally absorbing, although if you’re not already reading Fables, me telling you for the ninth time how good they are probably isn’t going to make much of a difference. This one is a little bit strange, just because the bulk of it revolves around planning for a war – it feels like stuff is happening, but because most of it is hypothetical, looking back on it, not much actually did happen. It’s not boring, though; it’s actually quite involving and quite dark. The intermezzo scenes were lighter, and very cute, and again reinforced how efficient (to use Kim’s word) Willingham is at building stories. I also really liked the last story, mostly for the sake of seeing Bigby a little out of his element, and showing some sides to his personality that we hadn’t seen before. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: No big fireworks yet; this is more like the indrawn breath before the scream. Still, it’s clear there are big ominous things on the horizon, so you’d better bet I’m going to keep reading.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2008 4:07 pm

    I am so putting a bunch of Fables books on my Christmas list. Can’t wait to get to this!

    It definitely doesn’t sound boring. Fables has a way of being completely riveting even when nothing much is going on.

  2. November 19, 2008 9:50 pm

    Would you say this is your favorite graphic novel series? I’m just wondering, since, ya know, you obviously like them. I’m interested in trying a graphic novel and trying to decide where to start.

  3. November 20, 2008 1:53 pm

    Nymeth – Hopefully Santa’s pleased enough with his appearance in this book that he’ll bring you all the Fables you’re after!

    Shana – Yes, this is my favorite graphic novel series; it’s also really the only graphic novel series I’ve read, with the exception of the first volume of Sandman. If you think you’d like the unique take on old favorite fairy tales, Fables is excellent. But, from what I know about your regular reading tastes, you might like one of the “literary” graphic novels better… and I can’t really offer any advice on that front. Sorry!


  1. Forgotten Friday – Fables: Volume 9 – Sons of Empire « A High and Hidden Place

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