Fall is a time for the leaves to change color, for eating pumpkin pies and for taking walks in hoodies while enjoying cooler temps. Fall is also time for….mouse guard border patrols helping mice villagers keep safe from predators??? Welcome to the premise of “Mouse Guard: Fall 1152” by David Petersen.
The Mouse Guard protect villages from intruders, but they also guide common mice trying to get from village to village without being attacked by birds or snakes and aid in getting enough food stocked up for the harsh season ahead. Need a safe path free of snakes? Need to know if a weather pattern will make a trip hazardous? Ask the Guard. Saxon, Kenzie, and newer member Lieam, are sent to find a missing merchant mouse . Their search reveals much more than expected, leading to news of a traitor within the Guard.
This book was beautifully written and illustrated. Just like popular comic and graphic novel series “Bone“, this graphic novel was created by a single artist as both writer and illustrator. The color and detail grabs me every time I open this excellent tale. Petersen does a great job of capturing everyday dangers to the mice. A snake early in the Guard’s adventure is absolutely terrifying and creates one of the most memorable scenes in this volume.
Even if talking mice aren’t typically your favorite type of characters, there’s enough sword fights, political intrigue, and heroic mythology for any lover of fantasy. Peterson works a lot of world building in this opening story arc, and this volume contains a lot of neat details in the back. Maps of Lockhaven (home of the Guard), descriptions of common Mouse trades of the time such as stone mason or miller, and pin-ups by other comic illustrators are all included as in-depth bonus material. Peterson has several volumes of Mouse Guard available, and I eagerly await future installments to see what happens next to my favorite mouse warriors.