I was really excited to share The StoryTeller: Dragons with you in my first installment of Lily Reads Comics, and this time, I’m sticking with Archaia but turning to a very different kind of story — Toil and Trouble.
Toil and Trouble is written by Mairghread Scott with art by Kelly and Nichole Mathhews; the (non-variant) covers are by Kyla Vanderklugt.
Synopsis: The three fates-Riata, Cait, and Smertae-have always been guiding and protecting Scotland unseen, indirectly controlling the line of kings according to the old religion. When there is a disagreement in the sisterhood, Riata and Smertae will use men as pawns, and Smertae will direct Macbeth to a crown he was never meant to have.
This series jumped out at me in the comic book shop simply for its title. Once I took a closer look, I discovered that I loved the artwork, and learning it was the story of Macbeth told from the perspective of the three witches (or fates) had me hooked. I don’t think I’ve kept my love of Shakespeare a secret, and finding Toil and Trouble proved to me yet again that there are comics out there for everyone, even me!
Even though some background with the story of Macbeth added to my appreciation of the story, I don’t think it is necessary to enjoy this comic. The first five books cover Macbeth, Act 1 through Act 2, Scene 1, leaving the rest of the play (and technically, not even its conclusion) for the last book. Even though I knew the outcome, Mairghread Scott wove the motivations and backstories of Riata, Smertae, and Cait into a gripping and moving tale.
Perhaps you can tell that I’m trying not to give too much away, but I won’t be shy about telling you that I absolutely loved this series! The art and story complemented each other well, and lest you fear that it could be relegated to the category of comic books that merely rehash famous stories, I can guarantee that Toil and Trouble speaks to age old themes of choice, power, family, and tragedy. It’s really able to bring something new to the narrative, while also being able to stand on its own.
Just like last time, if you’d rather have the whole storyline in one book, the graphic novel will be available in comic book shops on September 14 and will be released online the following week. See? You really have no excuse now.
In case you think that I only read Archaia books, I promise to share a comic from a different publisher for my next installment of Lily Reads Comics. In the mean time, feel free to let me know your thoughts on Toil and Trouble (if you’ve read it) or if I’ve convinced you to pick it up for yourself!