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“The Book of Ballads ”

Written on: 24/11/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The Book of Ballads

Charles Vess

Tor, Nov 2004, $24.95, 191 pp.

ISBN: 076531214X

Fantasy and comic book illustrator Charles Vess (see his work on the early Sandman comic books) provides thirteen illustrative stories written by eleven different, highly-regarded authors that are based on famous ballads. The tales are cleverly conceived as Mr. Vess and a renowned fantasist take a well-known verse and turn it into a delightful illustrated story. The original ballad follows the animated tale for those who seek the complete package. The pictures are in black and white, but that brings a historical feel to the retelling of the ballads; thus this enhances the conversion as color would make it prettier, but subtract from the wonderful total affect. A rather different type of anthology, fans of graphic tales will appreciate this marvelous, unique collection that contains wonderful interpretations of famous ballads like the Black Fox and Thomas the Rhymer by a who's who of fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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