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The Divided Earth: 12/20/18

The Divided Earth

The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks is the third book and final book in the Nameless City graphic novel series. The city is now held by rogue Dao prince Ezri. Meanwhile an army of Dao and Yisun is marching on the city.

Kaidu and Rat are working together to return the book to the Named so that it can no longer be used to make weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, Kaidu's father has left the city to find help. He discovers it in an unlikely source — his wife.

There are those who want to destroy the city. There are those who want to occupy it. There are others who accept that the city will never be what it once was. There are others who have lived in the city all their lives and know no different, no matter what their ties to other places may be.

Basically, it's a mess. It's a powder keg. It's a war waiting to happen.

Each of these three books have places in the road narrative spectrum, even though the majority of the action takes place within the walls of the city and on its rooftops.

A diagram of where the three books sit on the road narrative spectrum

Volume 3 expands the coupling (through friendship) of Kaidu and Rat to family (both through Kaidu's parents, as well as Rat's extended adopted family) (33). They are all focused on saving the Nameless City (00). They all travel various off road routes to attain that goal (66).

The previous two volumes are also fairly realistic fiction. They are snuggly placed with the earliest examples of road narratives: the romantic ones where love was found on the open road while traveling in the newly built automobile.

Volume one, The Nameless City is a 336666. It's a couple (Kaidu and Rat as new friends), home (Kaidu learning how to make the Nameless City a home from Rat), and most of their exploration is done off road (mostly on the rooftops).

Volume two, The Stone Heart is a 3300FF. The pair of friends (33) are still exploring the city (00) by way of the cornfield (FF). The cornfield, here is a literal one, one that is tended to by the Named. It serves as a visual metaphor for the barriers between Kaidu and Rat. It's only after those differences are worked through, that Kaidu fully understands that the Kaidu doesn't need the Dao to be free.

Five stars

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