STARRED REVIEW
October 2018

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

By M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Review by

The inimitable M.T. Anderson has teamed up with award-winning author and illustrator Eugene Yelchin for The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge—which is not quite a graphic novel but far more than your traditional illustrated middle grade book. Yelchin’s wonderfully quirky drawings fill entire chapters without any accompanying text. Other times, they supplement Anderson’s pithy prose or directly contradict it. Such is the inventive world of this wry, rollicking and totally refreshing take on cultural contact and conflict—in this case, between elves and goblins.

Share this Article:

BookPage Children's Top Pick, October 2018

The inimitable M.T. Anderson has teamed up with award-winning author and illustrator Eugene Yelchin for The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge—which is not quite a graphic novel but far more than your traditional illustrated middle grade book. Yelchin’s wonderfully quirky drawings fill entire chapters without any accompanying text. Other times, they supplement Anderson’s pithy prose or directly contradict it. Such is the inventive world of this wry, rollicking and totally refreshing take on cultural contact and conflict—in this case, between elves and goblins.

Having been at war for as far back as their histories stretch, elves and goblins are sworn enemies, but they’ve entered a period of tenuous peace. In stumble Brangwain Spurge and Werfel (an odd couple if there ever was one), two historians who are more at home in dusty libraries than at the center of the historical stage. Spurge, a pompous elf, has been selected by his government to return an ancient relic to the goblin overlord as a peace offering. Werfel, a gracious and endearing goblin, is tasked with playing cultural emissary to his elfin peer.

Werfel soon realizes that Spurge has no interest in anything that might change his view of goblins as uncultured brutes. Between Spurge’s prejudice and Werfel’s deep sense of hospitality—which requires him to appease his guest as well as protect him with his life—hilarity ensues.

A brilliant, satirical take on cultural chauvinism, objectivity and war and peace, The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge is witty, wise and wondrously unique.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

By M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763698225

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.