The latest collaboration between the creators of the popular ‘Edge Chronicles’ features Free Lance, a knight who earns his living as an itinerant tournament competitor. At the end of a thin jousting season, he is almost broke and his horse is lame, so when he receives an offer of wealth in return for recovering a magical crown from a heap of skulls, he accepts the commission against his better judgement. What follows owes a lot to Beowulf and more to pulp fiction: close scrapes with monsters and villains, wisecracks, double and triple crossings and plenty of Tarantinoid violence. The language has the easy clarity of a Paul Jennings story, with a similar wealth of episode, but perhaps a surfeit of similes.
The energy of Riddell’s line drawings matches the hectic pace of the storytelling. One for the lads? All the females are villainous and most end up dead, so it should go down well amongst some of them at least.