Flames of the Dark Crystal (2019) – J.M. Lee

The fourth and final book of J.M. Lee’s Dark Crystal series, featuring illustrations by Corey Godbey comes to its conclusion this week as I continue my journey with Naia and her friends. Of course, along the way there have been some huge changes from Lee’s story and the new Age of Resistance series, as the characters, which only brush up occasionally with those featured in the show, become more important to the events of the resistance.

Naia, Amri, Kylan, and the rest break their fellowship so that they can light the fires among the remaining clans, and unite the Gelfling against the threat of the Skeksis.

Naia is the one who realizes this is going to be more difficult than they thought as she begins to understand the connection between the Skesksis and the urRu, and realizes they can’t harm one without harming the other, as the two species are in fact two halves of the same being.

This has all been revealed before, in the original film, and shown in The Creation Myths, but not all the Gelflings know it, and it is something that shakes Naia and her friends to the core.

naiaamri

So now, they must find a way to confront the Skeksis without killing them, to fight peacefully, to fight for their home of Thra. There is something about this that just feels like such an enlightened mentality, something I think of the film’s creator Jim Henson.

There are environmental themes at work in the story, as the Gelfling reconnect not only with each other, but with their world, and that may lead them to answers, and most of all, hope.

That hope is bittersweet as we know how the story plays out in the long run, by the time of the film, almost all of the Gelfling are gone, seemingly almost driven to extinction by the Skeksis feeding off their essence, though the book offers other suggestions of where they may have gone, but that is trine and trine before the events of the film.

Lee makes these characters real, and the journey with them has been nothing short of exceptional, and Lee ends his tale with the beginning of another adventure as Naia and the rest fight for Thra.

These books serve very nicely in conjunction with the series. In fact the Creation Myth graphic novels, the books, the series, all augment the original film as we are taken to another time, another place, where we make new friends, fight fearsome enemies, and discover wonders around each tree, bend in the path, or mountaintop.

Lee penned a wonderful series that fired nostalgia with its first few pages, and then wrapped me up in characters, locales, moments, and a journey through the world of Thra, the world of the Dark Crystal.

jmlee

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