Prequel of sorts to the Fables series
Pages: 140 pgs.
First Published: 2006
Once upon a time, as all stories of this type must begin, a lovely woman traveled to a far-off demon-haunted land of magnificent jeweled cities, cast adrift in a sea of wind-tossed desert.
Reason for Reading: next published book in the Fables series.
Summary: Snow White is sent to the land of the Arabian fables to ask for their help in fighting the Adversary. The time period is shortly after the fables have settled in our world and from information gathered in this book that is probably somewhere in the 1600s. When she arrives the court of the Sultan does not know what to do with such an insult, a woman emissary! They lock her in her rooms for quite some time but after she becomes troublesome they decide to send her to the Sultan as his nightly bride who will be killed the following morning but Snow White decides to tell him a story and so she continues on for 1001 nights. This book contains only a select few of those tales.
Comments: This book is not a part of the Fables series proper. It was not published in comic book format but is an original graphic novel. The book is still written by Bill Willingham but each story has been illustrated by various different artists, creating a visually pleasing book. The book is often listed as a prequel to the series since the events take place some hundreds of years prior to the Fables series, yet it can be read at any time. I chose to read it now, after book 7, because this is when it was chronologically published. In book 7, Arabian Nights (and Days), there is a brief scene where someone asks Snow White hadn't she been to the Arabian fables world before and she replies shortly with oh that was a long time ago, I'm paraphrasing here. Thus Willingham has set up the scene for introducing this book at this time.
A great book! Beautiful art work. It was really enjoyable to see the Fables world come alive through different artists' perspectives, some of the art is especially fantastic. The stories are all great fun. Some short, some long. We meet many familiar faces from the Fables world and learn their past stories. Such as how King Cole came to Fabletown and why he was elected mayor. How many of the animal fables made it to Fabletown. The sad story behind Ambrose, the prince who was turned into a frog and the story of Bigby's birth, along with others. It's a lot of fun getting to know some background on favourite characters.
Personally, I don't think this book should be read as a prequel as you will know information which is supposed to be a secret until it is revealed in the series itself. You can't go wrong if you read it when it was published, after book 7; then you'll know just as much as the author knew. Great book and certainly don't skip it as it's a worthy addition to the Fables series.