[Review] The Hunger and the Dusk, Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson and Chris Wildgoose

In a dying world, only humans and orcs remain—mortal enemies battling for territory and political advantage. But when a group of fearsome ancient humanoids known as the Vangol arrive from across the sea, the two struggling civilizations are forced into a fragile alliance to protect what they have built.
As a gesture of his commitment to the cause—and to the relief of his bride-to-be, Faran Stoneback—the most powerful orc overlord, Troth Icemane, sends his beloved cousin Tara, a high-ranking young healer, to fight alongside brash human commander Callum Battlechild and his company of warriors. With a crisis looming, the success of this unlikely pair’s partnership and the survival of their peoples will depend on their ability to unlearn a lifetime of antagonistic instincts toward one another…and rise above the sting of heartbreak.

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Volume 1

I was granted to read this graphic novel by the publisher via Netgalley last year. This surely made it even harder for me to experience this story and then wait for ages for its continuation. This first volume contains six chapters that introduce us to the human and ork characters but already gift us with adventures and battles. It took me four pages to be fully involved, which was mostly due to the amazing illustrations. Soon after, I also felt sympathetic towards the characters.


Two races, one enemy

This story issues a alliance between generational enemies, humans and orcs. An agreement and ambassador is supposed to bring peace and help both races to survive their common enemy. This enemy long stayed somewhat anonymous and became only visible in a later chapter. Its luring danger was quite vivid nonetheless. I also enjoyed the peaks onto the magic that is present in this world as much as the love stories beginning to bloom in these chapters. More that that, we get a lot of interesting characters that will surely enrich the upcoming volumes. Friendship and romance will ground the lethal encounters. I loved the balance between dialogues and traveling/fighting.


A great start

The story seems to be narrated by one of our main characters. We get to know not only him on depth though. Nonetheless, there are many backstories that I am looking forward to discover. Especially Tara’s relationship to her cousin is teased at this volume’s ending though moving illustrations. The illustrator surely depicted an abundance of emotions without needing any words to convey the story and thoughts of the characters. I had a lot of fun and feelings while exploring this world for the first time. And I surely cannot wait to dive deeper into the reasons for the enemies‘ invasion and their (hopefully) eventual decline.



The author:

G. Willow Wilson [is a] Hugo, World Fantasy and American Book Award-winning author of novels and comics, including THE BIRD KING, INVISIBLE KINGDOM, and ALIF THE UNSEEN. Co-creator of Ms Marvel. Honorary doctor of letters, Rutgers University. I accidentally started a dutch baby baking cult during quarantine. Not very active on here right now, but often found on Twitter. Source

The illustrator:

Chris Wildgoose is a comic artist, concept artist, and illustrator, known for his work on Batgirl: Rebirth, Batman: Nightwalker, Gotham Academy, and the Porcelain series. He is a co-founder of the indie comics studio Improper Books. Source

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