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Wednesday 2 September 2009

The Rainbow Orchid. Volume One. Garen Ewing (Writer & Artist). Egmont UK Ltd. (2009)

Excellent, fast paced and very well cast period adventure story. Julius Chancer is an assistant to Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey an Ancient and Historical Researcher. They become involved with a famous silent film actress, Lily Lawerence and her father Lord Reginal Lawerence. Lord Reginald has made a foolish bet with a mysterious businessman Urkaz Grope regarding a flower exhibition. A search for the fabled Rainbow Orchid, a flower mentioned by a Greek philosopher thousand years ago, which may have been located in India much more recently by an acquaintance of Sir Alfred. The plot develops at a steady pace, the reveals are nicely paced and done and the action is fluid, the ending is nicely set up to lead into the next volume.

The art and structure of the book has a deliberately nostalgic feel that adds greatly to the enjoyment and atmosphere of the story. The possibilities period setting, post World War I, have been utilised very well. It is a period when an adventure with trains, boats and the Mysterious East is credible and non-ironic. The plot is nice developed with a variety of threads introduced and promises of further development implied. This gives the story a nice context with the suggestions of greater plots afoot.

The cast are varied and have nicely distinctive personalities and voices, the art is clean and inviting, it suits the period and the style of the story very well. There is a lighthearted sense to the story that is very welcome. This is a very engaging story, well worth a read.

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