In the introduction of Porcelain: Ivory Tower, Benjamin Read, author of series, write “No one has ever accused the Porcelain series of being upbeat, of course, but it does feel that this book marks a move out into deeper, darker water than previously. Perhaps that just comes with age – we’ve been working on this for seven years now, after all – but I think it’s more likely the real world bleeding back in.” And no truer words can be spoken when describing the third instalment of the Porcelain series. Porcelain: Ivory Tower, is dark, depressing, and entertaining for both old and new readers.
The woman previously known as Child and Lady is now Mother, ruling her people from an ivory tower while caring for her two daughters and a nation of Porcelain creatures. But there are nations who do not understand Mother’s magic that seek to destroy the kingdom she has so desperately tried to protect. Things become even more complicated when her daughter, Tori wants to be able to communicate and control the Porcelain people just as Mother but her health prevents her from doing so. With each turn of the page, Mother struggles to maintain her family and way of life.
Chris Wildgoose maintains the fairytale gothic aesthetic of the previous two books. The characters come to life in every expression. You can really feel Mother’s pain as the story continues, as she struggles to keep her family and kingdom together. By the end of the story, she’s completely unrecognizable. Her daughter, Tori, goes through an equally sad transformation, becoming equally unrecognizable by the end of the story.
While this takes place long after the previous installment, there is enough information throughout the story that will shed some light on other characters throughout the series. And, it will help new readers learn about Mother’s past for those who are unfamiliar with her.
This story is, without a doubt, a page-turner even for those who haven’t read the previous two installments. We relate to Mother and her obsession with keeping those she loves close to her. We see why she does what she does, the situations she’s thrown in are complicated yet her goal always remains the same: to make sure her family is safe. Her stubbornness can be frustrating as we see her world crumble around her. We know Mother even if some of us did not know her as Child or Lady. Readers have grown and aged with Mother. They have developed her hardness, and worldly view.
If you are a fan of gothic fairytales, stories about women, stories that have a bittersweet ending, and stories that do not provide hope, then this is a comic that you will want to check out. It’s a story that you will want to read. And its a story that will hurt you.
You can check out more information regarding Porcelain: Ivory Tower and other works by Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose here. And if you’ve had a chance to read this wonderful series, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter!