REVIEW: The Archipelago on Fire – Part 1 (2022)

A Graphic Novel by Giorgos Vlachos & Thanasis Karabalios

We often hear many stories of the various pirates that operated in and around the Caribbean Sea, but honestly not much else. For those guys, we have amusement park rides, films, and merchandising that rivals any big corporation. We all know piracy was a worldwide industry that still persists today, so a lot of that information on pirates in other locales is lost to most people. I, personally, was excited to read something about Pirates of the Aegean Sea in seventeenth century Greece, as that entire episode of time, including the Greek War of Independence, is in a knowledge blindspot for me in just about every way. You see, here in The United States, a lot of world events that had nothing to do with us are never mentioned in formal education unless a footnote in something or some sort of specialized classroom setting. That’s why I love stuff like The Archipelago on Fire – Part 1 by Giorgos Vlachos & Thanasis Karabalios, as I learned an awful lot by reading it. Granted, this is based on a Jules Verne novel rather than any specific world events, but I’m sure it’s well-researched and sourced as well as any of Verne’s historic fiction.

“A sweeping tale of love and war based on the adventure novel by Jules Verne. A free Greece is emerging from the ashes of four centuries of subjugation. The fight against piracy and the slave markets of the Aegean is one of the priorities of the newborn state. The story begins a few days before the decisive naval battle of Navarino, where the allied forces of Great Britain, France, and Russia are set to put an end to the naval domination of the Ottoman fleet off the Greek coasts. Against this historical backdrop, in British-held Corfu, a naval adventure unfolds in the archipelago that is literally ignited by the salvos of cannons and pirate onslaughts. At the same time, the French lieutenant Henry d’Albaret, in ruthless pursuit of the renegade pirate Nikolas Starkos, seeks to find his beloved Angelina, who has mysteriously disappeared…”

As a literary adaptation, this book did a good job of summarizing the plot of the classic novel for me, especially considering the creative team are Greek which hands it a bit more authenticity than the original French composition. The script is a bit wordy at times, with long info-dumps of near encyclopedic information that slow the narrative down, and the art is not very consistent. The art is not bad, but a lot of times the character models change from panel to panel thus giving it an almost unfinished look. I would like to read the other half, considering most of the plot happens there, because right when the story started to pick up, the book was over. While not a perfect experience, I enjoyed reading this book and want to reads the rest whenever it is also released.

If you are interested in this book, click HERE

For additional titles by the same publisher, Click HERE

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.

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