I’m Aaron, and I’m back again to bring you your next favorite digital read (hopefully)! Please, if you have any feedback, leave it here in the comments or contact me on Twitter (@Sully_Writes). And as always, if you have or know of a webcomic that you’d like to see reviewed, reach out and let me know!
Summary: Currently, Avalia consists of a robust introduction; a history of one of the titular country’s greatest conflicts. It follows a general from an impoverished wharf town making difficult and debatable choices in order to win a pointless war. In the end, he loses, and stage is set for the story to begin proper. As this segment of Avalia has only just begun, I’ll use the website’s own summary to allow readers to get a feel for the larger plot that is coming:
“On the verge of an international peace treaty, a dark secret festers in the cracks of Avalia’s court…
The Crown Princess Delmareve wakes up dreading each day more than the last. Her arranged marriage to the smarmy Gestlian ambassador is the last thing she could care for, but she can’t get the crown without a husband. Meanwhile, the entire country stirs in anticipation, hoping that this marriage will end the bad blood between Avalia and Gestlyn. The few remaining days to the wedding has both countries watching their every step, it would only take one wrong move to send the countries into another unforgiving war.
Beyond the walls of the palace, a deadly and untamable disease is breaking out across the towns. With no cure in sight, the only hope seems to be in the capital. A young townie named Revan sets off with a strict agenda to find the cure and save his town. With the help of a young countess, the two search for answers, but their journey proves much more complicated when the only cure is held far out of anyone’s reach…far enough that only royal authority could get them the answers they need.”
Story: The story in Avalia is wonderfully crafted. Delaney has done a truly great job of creating an enjoyable webcomic. It hooks you in early on and it reads so easily that you want to finish it. Pacing is, for the most part, on point. The characters are well thought out, and the dialogue is amazing. The only downside is that sometimes Delaney has too much of a good thing.
There are moments in the story where the dialogue is unnecessarily long feeling, and those do slow the pacing down for a bit. Though it was only for a couple of pages, I found myself glazing over for a moment during the trial, and at a point where the medicine of the healers was being explained. It’s always better to show and not tell. For the most part, this isn’t an issue, but it does exist occasionally.
Art: First off, let’s talk about the characters. They have distinct and iconic looks, excellent facial expressions, and are easy to read at a glance. This skill is demonstrated even in crowds of people who appear only for pages, who have single lines of dialogue. There is a genuine care for each character’s story that shows in how well they are handled in the art. Fight scenes and massive crowds are rendered wonderfully and artistically, almost impressionistic in how they are drawn. The texture and the vibrancy of the color work is top-notch.
Conclusion: This is a great new webcomic that you can get on board with now! If this era is your niche? You can’t do much better. Recommend it to all of your friends who love a little fantasy drama with a Victorian feel. All in all, I give Avalia…