A tale of magic, fantasy and a battle to save the world. What more could you ask for? Tavarsia is a beautiful story and a beautiful comic. I read all 218 pages in one sitting and it defiantly left a mark. Though whether it was a good or bad one I am still yet to decide. For all its wonder and brilliance there were areas that needed improvement. The imperfections are amplified due to the comic having so much potential. The original storyline and the amazing characters could excel this comic to brilliance. That is why seeing it fall a little short of that makes the negatives seem so much worse.
A tale of magic you say?
Tavarsia is a comic by Charlotte Sandmael which revolves around a young magic apprentice named Gaea. After being locked in a cell by her mentor she meets Veda a fellow witch. Veda convinces Gaea to join her on an adventure to save magic and a world called Tavarsia. With the help Veda’s friends -Lundrane and Varg- can they stop evil before its too late? Or has Gaea chosen the wrong side to ally with? Along the road are epic battles, great evil and a lot of self realisation.
After a slightly slow start the story does sink its claws in. By page 20 I was hooked and started to love the characters. Throughout the comic pacing does improve and becomes extremely well done. Sandmael balances story progression and page content to allow the story to feel natural. The story itself was captivating and full of possibilities. The world of Tavarsia is full of life and has so much that could have been explored.
An example of this would be the elven speech that ignores gender and uses pronouns based on relationship. It was unfortunate that this idea seemed crowbarred in and then later dropped for probably convenience. It did help create a distinction between Tavarsia and the human world it just was not implemented well.
Endings are always the hardest part
As I reached the 218th page I was left a little disappointed with its conclusion.
From the comment section of the comic it looks like I am not the only one to feel this way. The ending itself was fine just seemed a little bit early. Most ends were tied and there was a definitive end to the main plot. What felt unfinished were the characters relations. In all, it just didn’t feel like an end in fact the comic could of easily continued in my eyes.
Rather than unfinished plots there is a feeling of unfinished exploration. This shows how as a reader you are left wanting more, not just of the story but of the world you have been introduced too.
Hearts, butterflies and all that jazz
I am a sucker for romance, even more so when it is between two female characters. It gives me butterflies and blushing cheeks. Despite my rough tough façade inside I am a romantic. This is why I was so happy to see flirting between the two main protagonists. The opposing personalities made the romance work so well but unfortunately the writing didn’t. Just like many of the relationships in this comic it seemed forced upon the reader. The harmless flirting nose dives into full blown feelings far to quickly and then by then end of the comic seems to die off instantly.
Sandmael proves she can write romance well with the interaction between Varg and Lundrane. This makes it a shame that the relationship between Gaea and Veda was not given the same treatment. The relationship between the two I feel is purposely vague to allow the reader to decide whether it is romantic or not. A good idea but it wasn’t implemented well. To do this a base level relationship needs to be established so the reader can elaborate from it. Instead the level of relationship bounces between acquaintances to best friends throughout the pages. This lack of constance can leave the reader rather confused.
The beauty of Tavarsia
The art in this comic is beautiful but it is the art progression that I truly love.
As the comic goes on you can see the artist’s improvement in their work. Comparing the first and last page you would not believe they are done by the same person. This progression gives the comic a personal touch and gives it personality.
The contrast between the human world and Tavarsia is wonderful. Tavarsia is a bright and vibrant world which feels full of possibilities. The human world is colder and dark making it feel more realistic. Sandmael draws water extremely well creating the idea of movement in all type of water from pools to lakes. Every part of the landscape is beautiful and brilliantly drawn.
Every character is very different from face shape to body shape. Allowing them all to seems very unique and individual. The facial expressions are faultless and truly propel the emotions of the story. The only criticism would be the noses which seem to dominate the face. The shaping of them seems a little off though they eventually grow on you.
Why not explore a magical world?
Tavarsia is an excellent read and a thoroughly enjoyable comic. Though it would be nice to see more character progression there is nothing more I could fault. Sandmael created a fantastic world that left me wanting to know more. The characters were enjoyable and different which is probably why I am so desperate to know more about them. You do start to feel fondness for them that leaves you worried when they are in sticky situations.
Though I have focused on the bad it doesn’t really outweigh the good. For a first comic Sandmael has done amazingly. In the end I feel most of my negatives for this comic just come from wanting more of it. This comic definitely lets your imagination run wild. It inspires you to create your own adventure in Tavarsia. It has been over a week since I have read the comic and I can’t get it out of my head. Tavarsia is definitely rereadable and I would recommend giving it a read. So why not get whisked away to the world of Tavarsia!