Previously, in Birthright #20
Birthright is back from a small break. This issue is something new for the series and a great addition; the standout being the art. Bressan and Lucas do an amazing job taking the reader on Rya’s journey from birth to the point of giving birth herself. We get a new perspective on this character, who seemed to not have any real direction outside of her love for Mikey and their child. Now we know what her life was like on Terrenos, and why she is where she is in the story. The drawings and colors just gave this story life and perfectly evoked emotion to Williamson’s words. This was quite a great issue.
It begins with Rya telling her story of being born, maybe not on the battlefield, but she was reborn there as a very young child. There is a brilliant shot of a crying child that sets the stage of grief and trauma she endured in a world of war. The picture is so haunting and beautiful. And the next page is no different. It is a spread where Rya’s parents and other members of the Gideons people have been slain by Lore’s forces. We find out that her people, the Gideons, wanted to support the Orcs in their fight for freedom against Lore. In doing so, her parents and many other Gideons were killed during the fighting. Rya was saved from her parent’s fate by Rook, who was one of Lore’s greatest warriors but turned on him and was leading the rebellion. She was raised to be a fighter by Rook and he with the legacy of her parents, he forged a warrior out of her.
One of the best parts of this issue was when Rya tells the story of how she had to be convinced that the “Chosen One” was more than just something to build hope for those who fought Lore. She was not impressed with Mikey from the start. It was not until after a failed archery lesson did she start to believe. Mikey missed his target and jokes around about how Terrenos is not so bad; there’s no homework, right? This irks Rya and after a tongue-lashing she says, “I fight from me. I want to make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to my children.” Mikey apologizes and says, “I won’t stop until I hit the target.” Rya relays that it took more tries, but in the end he became the man she would fight next to and in time even love.
This was a story of war, of pain, of sorrow, of promise, of hope, and finally of love. All of these feelings were encapsulated in Rya’s final thoughts of her and Mikey’s relationship.
“Mikey and I are forever connected… Destiny will bring us together again.”
And she finally says that if Mikey is really a danger to both worlds, “I’ll kill him myself.”
Williamson did an amazing job at character building and showing us how these characters matter and the depth that each of these characters have gone through in their lives. I now have a new fondness for Rya and look forward to where she will go from here and her final place in this story. It was amazing storytelling and sorrowful, wonderful art that still haunts me; that first page was just remarkable.