Solving Crimes and Waging Wars, A “Dungeons and Dragons Abraxis Wren of Eberron” REVIEW
Written By: Paul Crilley & Keith Baker
Art By Valerio Schiti
This collection put together by IDW details, through adventure, murder and war, the lands of Eberron. Focusing on one of its premier cities, Sharn, a towering cityscape where the typical fantasy setting has taken steps forward in progress. With airships, lightning rail trains and warforged citizens (a living metal race), Sharn is a city just like any other; one full of murder and mystery.
The first two chapters of this collection follow Abraxis Wren, the self-proclaimed greatest inquisitive mind in Sharn. He is a fantasy realm version of Sherlock Holmes who travels with a lot of baggage from his past as well as hi best friend Torin the dwarf who is this world’s John Watson, right down to him making notes of these cases he and Wren go on to make some books. The script in these two chapters is fun and had me trying to figure out a way to solve the crime, and what possible twist will come about in the end. Though these two characters resemble Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detectives, there are enough differences and personality issues that this is new and exciting.
The art that accompanies these first two chapters are really well done for a comic set in high fantasy. The city of Sharn, set in Eberron, has been traveled many times by countless heroes and questers through pen and paper games on tabletops. When it’s a world such as that, there are some expectations and standards to illustrate and color to match what a lot of fans have imagined for a lifetime. And that is how the final chapter of this collection is tied in, even though it was written several years before Wren’s adventure.
Eye of the wolf takes place during the early years of Sharn when the city was in the middle of a war between several factions. This book describes through action and story just how dangerous the world of Eberron is with gnolls (half hyena beings), vampires and scimitars. This final chapter in the collection was a good one shot that emphasized how much fun the Dungeons and Dragons brand of adventure can be through any variety of quests and encounters.
The first two chapters made this collection worth reading, and the final chapter delivered the well-known notion of sword and shield battles that is part of the very fabric of D&D.