I grabbed this graphic novel at APE a few weeks ago, and it’s pretty good. It’s a collection of six stories, each with a different artist, but the same writer. Each story makes a good whole, so the graphic novel is overall episodic in structure.

Rilavashana (Riley) is a princess of the fictional Indian kingdom of Prakkalore, but is seriously smitten with the wanderlust bug, and so goes off on adventures far from home in the best Sword & Sorcery tradition. The stories are actually more traditional folk-tale in tone and structure, and use a fair amount of narration like Marvel’s old Conan stories (well, not quite that much). Generally, Riley rides into a new locale where there is a preexisting problem, and with a combination of foresight, cunning and swordplay, works her way to the center of the problem, and a solution.

While I’ve certainly seen (and enjoyed) worse, I found the art to be ho-hum to a bit below average most of the time. The main exceptions are the cover by Brinson Thieme, and “The Wicked Temple” by Konstantin Pogorelov. Even that last can take some getting used to, but it’s the middle of a monsoon, and everything looks wet and sleeting rain. Best of all is his two-page spread establishing the temple, which was so striking it pushed me over the edge to buying the book.

Overall, it’s good but not great. The writing is clever but remains a bit distant, and most of the art isn’t what I go for. But neither is it bad, and I’ll certainly consider getting a second volume with more stories should one come out.