In 1689 there was a war in Ireland, between Catholics and Protestants. It was a war that changed the face of the country, bringing rival Christian factions against one another. Although the war didn’t last long, its impact has been enormous.
War of the Two Kings brings the story to life as a comic. It charts James II’s trip to Ireland to try and raise an army to win back the throne of England. However, his usurper, William of Orange, sends his own armies to Ireland to try and finish him off for good.
The problem with the book is that it’s a bit dry. There’s little exploration of the characters involved. Instead, the narrative is more like an illustrated list of events, namely who was at a particular place, on a particular day, and with whom. It isn’t all that interesting and while there’s a bit of action around the various sieges that the war is famous for, there’s little dramatisation of the key characters, analysis of the battles and tactics, or anything else that might add depth and character to the history.
The illustration isn’t particularly sophisticated either. There are sparks of quality here, but much of the drawing is unimpressive. The digital colouring lacks lustre and some of the figures and backdrops look rushed and simply not drawn that well.
Overall this is a disappointing book. The history it tackles is clearly fascinating, and this might make a springboard to further study. But it’s too dry to have broad appeal, and doesn’t do full justice to the subject matter.