Back in the halcyon days of my youth, I rated every grilled-cheese I ate on a 1 to 10 scale. I remember the good ones (the Walkway Cafe in Cheboygan, Michigan took first place) and, well, I guess I kinda forgot the worst. Technically, they were all the same thing – bread and cheese, yet some were more expertly crafted and thus tastier. In a way, hidden-treasure adventure stories are kinda like grilled cheeses to me – they often have similar elements and I’ve consumed plenty of them. Tower of Treasure will be one I remember. Well-paced, entertaining, and nice to look at, Scott Chantler’s graphic novel is a solid start to an adventure story that will appeal to both boys and girls.
Dessa is an acrobat in a traveling circus full of colorful characters, including the short in stature Topper and gargantuan Fisk. When they arrive in the Royal City of Kingsbridge we learn that Dessa’s brother was abducted years ago. When a mysterious man named Greyfalcon appears, it sparks Dessa’s memory, and she thinks he may be her brother’s captor. Meanwhile, Topper has his mind set on stealing the riches held in the castle’s tower and enlists Fisk to be his muscle. Eventually Dessa gets roped in, and the trio make a play for the tower treasure. When things go awry and they are captured, Dessa and her friends escape, trailing Greyfalcon in search of answers.
The artwork is bright and crisp, smoothly flowing from one panel to the next. Young readers who have limited experience with graphic novels will be able to follow the action with ease.
There’s an accessibility here that’s tough to deny. Confidently written and well illustrated, Tower of Treasure is the first book of a graphic novel adventure that kids will get into.
Review copy from publisher.
Also reviewed by Good Comics for Kids.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.