The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars
By: C.S. Johnson
Publication Date: November 7, 2018
Genre: Manga Style/Graphic Novel
Length: 30 pages
A tiresome task.
A deceptive dragon.
A prince that changes everything.
Ophiuchus is a celebrated warrior of the Celestial Kingdom and a warrior among the Stars. He has been always been a dutiful servant of the Prince of Stars. So when the prince asks him to watch over the crafty serpent, Naga, Ophiuchus agrees. But as time passes and discouragement—both from Naga and others—Ophiuchus wonders if the Prince of Stars was right in asking him to take on the burdens of his task.
Will Ophiuchus honor his duty, or give into his heart’s weariness?
The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars is a fantasy graphic novel set in the world of the zodiacs. This story is about Ophiuchus who doesn’t only have the feud of the rest of the zodiacs against him for one reason or another but also the Prince of Stars has burdened him with the task of monitoring Naga, a deceptive serpent who constantly is in disagreement with him. Naga is representative of the evil in the world or perhaps on a lesser note, simply a disapproving negative thoughts that become a burden over time. Through the 30 pages or so of this graphic novel, the story brings together the obvious comparison of the story’s literal burden to the heavier mental burdens surrounding a person and whether and how to let it go. That message alone is the worthy of a lot of value as it instills the positives and has Ophiuchus, struggling to let go of the burden and even embrace the positives and freedom.
With that said, to be able to deliver fairly engaging characters, especially Ophiuchus and Naga as well as The Prince of Stars all give this fantasy a nice depth and development. Its only 30 pages so both the pacing and the execution are tight. It has a lot of other characters, the rest of the zodiac notably, but they only pop in with their random thoughts and opinions. Its gives their character context and all it really does need to do.
Simple as it is, quick as the story flows by, the animation is nice but not quite at its full potential. The writing style also still has a bit of improvement to flow some dialogue better. Its not exactly manga but the fantasy elements do give it that extra perk. It also lacks a little to be a full-on graphic novel, perhaps its the art style or the story style itself. It sits in the middle. It would be nice to see C.S. Johnson take on more of these while trying to commit to either or of the styles. Still, the ideas and creative aren’t to be dismissed and it will be interesting to see what works are in the horizon.
Score: 3.5 (3 on Goodreads)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me
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