Vertigo Press brings about a new realm of world myths with the collection Fairest Volume #3: The Return of the Maharajah. The collection focuses on the story of Nalayani, a young girl from a village where all the young men have been taken away to find in wars against goblins. With a bow and strong will, Nalayani sets off in the direction of the new Maharajahs palace in order to ask for help for her village. It is constantly under attack due to the lack or protectors, and those people left behind are slowly starving. After traveling far, she comes face to face with the new Maharajah; a face very familiar to those who follow the goings on of Fabletown. Prince Charming has taken over the region, and as such has taken on the problems of the Maharajah. He has also fallen head over heels for the young Nalayani, or a he sees it a challenge. The two go on a trek to save not only Nayalani’s village but also to outwit and evil force taking over the land.
Fans of the Fairest series will understand the intricate workings of Charming’s relationships with his ex-wives, but those newest to the world of Fables may find themselves a bit confused. As a stand alone story, Fairest Volume #3 does a decent job of trying to contain itself in a world of Indian legend. However, bits and pieces lead those not associated with the comic to see workings of a much bigger story at hand. Sean E. Williams compiled an intricate but enjoyable story. While the artists change in between issues, the work is consistent and enjoyable to look at. However, it can also be highly sexual. Charming is not at all shy, and the art reflects his very bacchanalian nature.
Fairest Volume #3 is an enjoyable read for those just now getting into their Summer reading. The collection is available now from Vertigo Press.