Peter & Max by Bill Willingham This is the first non-graphic novel in Fables, an otherwise graphic novel series. Peter and Max takes a break from the main storyline of the series to delve into the past history of Peter Piper and his brother, Max Piper, with some input from Peter’s wife Bo Piper, nee Peep. Long ago, during the invasion of the Homelands, Peter and Max had a conflict, the exact nature of which is gradually revealed over the course of the novel. Without going into too many details, we will say only that Max turns out to be a Bad Egg who is murderously jealous of his younger brother. A hundred years ago in our world, Max came again to try to find Peter, but was driven out by Frau Totenkinder, the famous Black Forest witch. Now Max is back, and Peter is determined to find him before he brings down the rest of the world. The story cuts back and forth between the modern world and the old Homeland, with plenty of tension in both stories, all of them weaving together various stories and rhymes involving Peters and Pipers. It is by turns, as one expects of Willingham, horrifying, funny, exciting, and sometimes a wee bit romantic. This tale in particular has extra doses of music, magic and mayhem. Those who are fans of the series already will want to read this as well; those who thought the series sounded interesting but were put off by the format will find Peter & Max an easier portal.
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