By Delilah S. Dawson, Becca Farrow, and Rebecca Nalty
Knowing when to fight or when to wear a dress is important. Aeve, daughter of the former King, now Captain, of Ladycastle gives this sound advice to her sister in issue #3 of Ladycastle. Having just dealt with werewolves in the previous issue, the women now face a new attack and must determine the best way to deal with it: Fight or Polite. Their polite and peaceful approach, though, may not be enough to save them.
Delilah S. Dawson continues to give readers a fun and light-hearted story in this penultimate issue of the series. We start off with a song to catch the reader up on what has happened before and it’s playfully set to the tune of a familiar sitcom. This is contrasted by what appears to be a dire situation that our main characters have found themselves, but soon escape from. The writing and story itself may bring the reader memories of kids cartoons where the problem is wrapped up and a lesson learned by the end of the episode. For this book, that’s a good thing. In this issue there are a few important lessons to be learned: freeing yourself from the past, learning to do what is asked of you, and knowing when and when not to fight. The most important message, however, that the reader should come away with is the importance of women in society. The women of Ladycastle are succeeding even after being thrown into this situation. They may be facing their own doubts and the doubts of the last man, but they come together to successfully face the attacks brought on by the curse. It’s a quick and fun read that will leave the reader with a smile.
Becca Farrow’s artwork is a perfect fit for the book. She especially excels at drawing objects and characters that have a lot of detail in them. The Harpies are beautiful and the costume designs for all the characters are very nicely done. Farrow does a good job at capturing the emotions and movements of the characters and a perfect example of this is on the first page. However, there are a number scenes were we lose the background and only have a color wash or gradient. This is fine, but the reader may wonder if it’s an artistic choice or if it was due to time constraints. Farrow is an excellent artist, though, as a look at her portfolio proves. Nalty’s coloring is adequate, but starts off better than it ends. There is more depth in the coloring in the first part of the book than in the back half. Farrow’s work could have been complemented better with more shading and highlights in the coloring.
Definitely pick this up for a fun read, but don’t forget the lessons. Ladycastle as a series is, and should be, especially important for young girls. Dawson’s work can present them with examples to keep in mind as they grow into women. These are not damsels in distress, but rather fighters and problem solvers. Sometimes you wear a dress and sometimes you fight, other times you fight in a dress.