Amulet, Book Two: The Stonekeeper's Curse
written by Kazu Kibuishi
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- Related Editorial: Amulet, Book Two: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
Kazu Kibuishi is a charming storyteller, the kind of creator who gives graphic novels for all ages a good name. That’s not to overstate his impact; it’s simply to give a sense of how warm and comfortable his books feel. You feel drawn to his characters, engrossed in the fantasy land they inhabit, and rooting for their cause. There’s an element of danger throughout, never too intense but always there, and the sense that no character is really too safe.
We first met Emily and her brother Navin in Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper. Emily is the stonekeeper, but there’s no telling whether that is a positive or a negative. The stone has a mind of its own, and that mind is rather evil. But Emily has a pretty strong will of her own, so all bets are off—although the power the stone offers is pretty alluring.
In this sequel, Emily and Navin are forced to split up. Their mother is in a coma and near death, and the only thing that will save her is the root of a tree that grows only atop the deadliest of mountains. No one has ever returned after embarking on a trip to the mountain. Emily is determined she will be the first. She has to be if her mother is to survive.
Navin is discovering his own destiny as a leader of an army in this strange land. Much of Amulet, Vol. 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse pays homage to previous epics (The Empire Strikes Back being one of them). The homages are easy to spot but they don’t overpower Kibuishi’s story, which is grand in scale. This second book sets up the next with great aplomb, leaving a wide open door for a knockdown, drag-out battle. Players on the other side (including those who know firsthand the power and seduction of the stone) are mounting their attack, and much suspense is building over what is to come.
The Amulet series is gentle and easy for readers to follow. The violence is thrilling (Kibuishi has an amazing sense of choreography he employs in his art) and not gruesome or inappropriate for young readers (although perhaps a little too intense for the very young). The ultimate drama here, and the overriding message, is the enduring power of family, and that shines through always.