REVIEW: Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds

by Ian Edington and I. N. J. Culbard
Publisher: 2000AD

Ian Edginton and I.N.J Culbard bring us an absolutely captivating tale in Brass Sun. Set in a clockwork solar system, The Orrery, where planets obrit a Brass Sun via immense metal spars that is dying, this tale follows that of young girl called Wren and her allies as she begins on her quest to find the key to restart the sun.

Ian Edington doesn’t just build a world in this book, but an entire universe after the first few pages you are completed engrossed in these living breathing worlds, each more interesting than the last. This story unfolds at a very slow pace however, this allows it room the breathe and to allow the creative team ample time to spend in each of these worlds, each with its own government, politics and interesting characters and even though you spend ample time with them you will find yourself wishing that you could spend more time in each world and what Edginton has shown us is really only the tip of the iceberg. The slow pace allows Edginton to really develop the two main characters Wren and Septimus into fantastic leads, people that you genuinely care about, full of quiet character moments that really explore the emotional depth these characters have.

The only criticism that can be levelled at this book that it is a lot to take in, and introduces so many concepts at you constantly as you move from world to world, however the dialogue and exposition is almost never clumsy that it doesn’t detract from the story at all. Edginton works to ensure that all this information flows naturally although I did find myself putting the book down for a few hours to allow myself to absorb the information presented before moving to the next part of the story.

Culbard’s art is glorious combining steampunk and a very art deco style to create fantastically original worlds. Culbard lifts some weight with the exposition making sure his art also allows you to understand this strange and wonderful concept. As a storyteller Culbard’s main strength in this book is how he can shift the tone from page to page, there is always that sense of wonder when a new world is revealed but the tone can shift very quickly to fear or in some cases outright terror.

Brass Sun is a wonderful book, full of so many great ideas and concepts and whilst learning about this world can be a lot to take in, it is worth it as you will get lost in this mythos that has been crafted for the reader. It is beautifully rendered and has so much imagination behind it and you will find yourself joining Wren for her journey desperate to see what it goes next.

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