is the brainchild of Kazu Kibuishi, editor of Flight
and author of the webcomic Copper
and graphic novel Daisy Kutter
. It's a graphic novel (6 volumes so far) chronicling the adventures of Emily, her brother Navin, and her mother, as they find themselves caught up in an alternate, subterraneous world called Alledia. The eponymous amulet is found by Emily in a new house they move into.
Alledia is home to all sorts of wild and imaginative things, like tentacled monsters, walking houses, talking trees, and Emily finds herself trying to not only keep her family together, but also fight an increasingly brutal war against an evil race of elves bent on dominating everyone else.
This graphic novel provides examples of:
- Awesome Art: Holy crap this series is beautiful. Volume 5 in particular is stunning with its landscapes.
- Baleful Polymorph: If you stay in Kanalis too long, you'll eventually permanently transform into an anthropomorphic animal. This includes birds and even slugs. Though Leon is a fox, as was his father, not to mention other animal people are shown to be the same species within their families. So apparently genetics determine what form the curse chooses for you.
- Beneath the Earth: Sort of; Alledia is actually a kind of alternate Earth, but it's accessible via a huge underground passage and most of it seems to be a giant cave.
- Big Bad: The Elf King. Or so it seems. The King is dead, and His Amulet is the one really running things.
- Bigger Bad: For most of the story so far, the amulet's voice seemed to serve as a guide for Emily in battle and during difficult situations. However, Book Five: Prince of the Elves, ultimately reveals that the voice is responsible for both the Elf King and Max Griffin. In Max's case, the voice uses his hatred to its advantage by forcing him into submission apparently to avenge his childhood friend, Layra. Prior to this revelation, Emily's brother, Navin, even describes the voice as "shifty"; after his defeat, Gabilan mentions that "the stone has its own agenda" and that "[Emily] will die like the rest" once it has fulfilled its goal.
- Brother-Sister Team:
- Bounty Hunter: Gabilan. There's seems to be a lot more to that, though...
- Combat Tentacles
- Disappeared Dad: An extreme version; we actually see Emily's father die before our eyes, and his death is a large part of her current personality.
- Disembodied Eyebrows: Miskit.
- Disney Villain Death: Luger. Or so it seems.
- Downer Beginning: The Stonekeeper starts with the death of Emily and Navin's father.
- Egg MacGuffin: Dagno!
- The Fair Folk: The elves.
- Funny Animal: The population of Kanalis. Implied to be due to a curse.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Prince Trellis sports one stitched-up one across his left eye.
- Heel-Face Turn: Prince Trellis and Luger, of all people.
- Humongous Mecha: A house.
- Over the course of the volumes, Navin is shaping up to be a pilot of such Humongous Mecha. That fact that he is known for his love of video games may have been foreshadowing this.
- The elves also seem to employ several.
- I Choose to Stay: Subverted in that when Emily says that she has to stay in Alledia, her mother insists that the whole family will too regardless of the dangers they will face.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Navin, piloting the Albatross.
- La Résistance: So named, except with "the" instead of "la".
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Luger. After his defeat, he goes from being the Elf King's right hand man to a whimpering old man.
- Living Toys: Miskit seems to be one, but he's actually a robot.
- Magitek: Most of the time, it's either this, or Steampunk.
- Meaningful Echo: (The Stonekeeper's Curse) When Emily tries to regain control after her stone begins to overpower her, she screams the line "Get out of my head!" (Prince of the Elves) This line is later repeated when Trellis channels his memories via his amulet and is seized by the stone's force before being aided by Emily.
- Mind Rape: Gabilan seems to enjoy using this.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The elves.
- Nice Hat: Leon Redbeard sports a very nice one.
- One-Winged Angel: Luger, and anyone else who gets "devoured" by the amulet.
- Our Elves Are Better: Completely averted; elves are cruel and have very sharp teeth. Most of the Mooks look more like orcs moreso than anything.
- Power at a Price: The main point of the amulet. Use it too much and it takes you over, transforming you into a giant monster.
- Using your dead body as a physical vessel with which to rule.
- Power Glows: The amulet.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Emily, when using the amulet.
- Robot Buddy: The entire population of Silas's house.
- Rocket Punch: Done by the Humongous Mecha house in chapter 2.
- Scenery Porn: And how. The art is by far the main draw of the book.
- Shout-Out: The third book is basically one massive Shout-Out to Castle in the Sky.
- To be fair, he does list Hayao Miyazaki as one of his inspirations in the acknowledgements section.
- Space Whale: Sky eels. Despite their rather terrifying appearance, they're quite docile.
- Steam Punk
- Tentacle Rope
- The Starscream: Gabilan.
- Unholy Holy Sword: The amulet.
- Weaksauce Weakness: the elves hate the smell of fish to the point of automatic asthma attack.