This is a tale of a boy, bear, badger and cat in a mysterious wilderness. Max, a top-notch Boy Scout, has no idea how he suddenly finds himself in these woods, nor how he has acquired the ability to talk with the animals who accompany him on this adventure. One thing that is clear is that the Blue Cutters, adult men and women wielding magical blue swords capable of altering personality, even beliefs and memory with each careful cut are chasing them. The deadly swords, used less carefully, they can would or kill.
The Cutters are chasing Max, and Banderbrock the badger, Walden the bear and McTavish the cat. The four of them form a team to escape the Cutters and journey down the roads and along the large Mysterly River in hopes if reaching Wizard Swift’s sanctuary before they are caught by a large force of Cutters and their pack of hunting dogs, and “altered”.
Along the way we learn a good deal of each characters history, and that none of them seems to remember much about their lives before they found themselves in the great woods.
I like Willingham’s fiction, both graphic novels, especially his Fables books and written, including Peter and Max which came out a year ago. This was a delightful, satisfying book, and the wonderful chapter head illustrations by Buckingham add to the enjoyment. I’m hoping for – expecting – more adventures from Willingham taking place in this interesting world.