Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibushi is the gripping first installment of an eight-part graphic novel series about Emily and Navin Hayes, who, after the death of their father, move into a new house, which soon turns into a house full of secrets after Emily discovers a sentient amulet in the library. Soon after, her mother is captured by a creature beyond the realms of realism and the siblings embark on an adventure to save their mother, and with the help of robots like Cogsley, Miskit, Morrie and Theodor, uncover a legacy far more mystical than they could ever imagine.
I especially enjoyed how Amulet managed to subvert popular fantasy tropes like that of "the chosen one," while not drawing away from their core themes. Every character has their own quirks and I particularly enjoyed Miskit’s characterization as the alluded-to most faithful member of Charon House. Amulet also does a masterful job of using “show not tell,” while also having a world that is easy to understand. Using elements of drama, suspense, dialogue and character expressions, I found myself getting rapidly attached to the premise, as well as everything inside it. The twins’ personalities found me rereading the book constantly finding more of myself and people I know, their dynamic with each other very relatable and refreshing.
With vibrant character design, succinct world-building, and a fascinating narrative, Amulet is a graphic novel that is easy to latch onto but very hard to let go of.
Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibushi. Graphix, 2008. Buy the book here and help support Stone Soup in the process!