Anderson’s latest foray into middle-grade fantasy is executed with the all smarts and finesse his fans have come to expect. Joining him on this storytelling adventure is Yelchin…Yelchin’s black pen-and-ink illustrations, in Medieval style, capture the humor and fantastical details of the text, as well as Brangwain’s changing view of goblins. Biting and hysterical, Brangwain and Werfel’s adventure is one for the history books.
—Booklist (starred review)
Together, Anderson and Yelchin craft something that feels impossible, a successfully unorthodox epistolary, pictorial, and prose narrative that interrogates the cultural ramifications of unchallenged viewpoints and the government violence they abet even as it recounts the comedic blunderings of a spy mission gone wrong. Monty Python teams up with Maxwell Smart for a wrestling match with Tolkien—splendid.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
With the look and feel of medieval lithographs, they include touches of humor, whimsy, irony, and menace; as such, they are well suited to both the acerbic wit and the affecting tenderness of Anderson’s prose. The result is a fantasy that couldn’t feel more real, obliquely referencing a political climate marked by a lack of civility, underhanded diplomacy, fake news, widespread bigotry and prejudice, and the dehumanization of marginalized people.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Told in narrative and illustrated pages—Werfel’s experiences and Spurge’s visual dispatches back home—the story by Anderson (Feed) and Yelchin (Arcady’s Goal) blends the absurd and the timely to explore commonality, long-standing conflict, and who gets to write a world’s history.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
All I can say is that it’s a book for our time. An unreliable visual narrator. A Cold War, Middle Earth, buddy comedy. Art that looks like the lovechild of Hieronymus Bosch and Terry Gilliam. You know. One of those.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)
“Anderson and Yelchin’s fable of goblins, elves, and the cultural brouhahas that put their respective nations on a war footing is accessible, darkly comic, and rewarding.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
“What a fun wild crazy smart gorgeous book! And oh! that art — insanely beautiful.”
—Jon Scieszka, first U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature