Comic Review: The Portent: Ashes

The Portent: Ashes
Written and Illustrated by Peter Bergting
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 18, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

When your home is gone and those who raised you and trained you have also become your greatest betrayers, whom can you trust? In Dark Horse’s The Portent: Ashes, a sequel graphic novel to Peter Bergting‘s The Portent: Duende, Bergting brings the character of Lin to the forefront as she searches for answers of her own.

Ten years after having defeated the demon Guishen, the wood nymph turned warrior Lin finds herself returned to the land of the living from the spirit realm, only to discover she has no physical home to return to. Once again torn between the coven of witches that would use her, her respect for a father figure of old, and her love for the warrior Milo, Lin must travel the outskirts of an old, yet oddly new land to confront those who would bring it harm – even if those individuals are the ones who helped raise her.

I have to be honest and say that I have not read Bergting’s first graphic novel in the series, so the characters in The Portent: Ashes were all new to me; however, this did not at all affect how enjoyable or accessible the story was.

Bergting spends a short – but adequate – amount of time exploring the past of the characters, allowing new readers to catch up and old readers to remember important events. Once he delves into the main story, it becomes clear that it is an engaging, epic tale filled with just the right mixture of love, treachery, bravery, and redemption.

The illustrations are simply beautiful. Bergting illuminates the vastness and surreal state of each world Lin inhabits through her perspective, colored with dark shades of red, orange, yellow, and grey. Many panels display these factors, but it only takes the first to pull you right in to the graphic novel’s dreamlike surroundings.

The Portent: Ashes is an otherworldly fantasy that will capture your attention from beginning to end through sleek story-telling and stunning art. I think it’s time I seek out the first volume in this fantastic series.

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