Following on from FABLES: LEGENDS IN EXILE and FABLES: ANIMAL FARM, here's the third volume compiled from the series. In it Boy Blue falls for Red Riding Hood while fighting the Adversary's minions; a stupid journalist thinks he can unmask the residents of Fabletown for the vampires he thinks they are; an evil plot has surprising consequences for Bigby Wolf and Snow White; and we find out about Barleycorn Brides.
And that's just for starters. The consequences of some of the things that happen here will, as they always do in these tales, through what follows later. It also deals with the further interaction between the crazed revolutionary Goldilocks and Snow Whit, who, as we may remember from ANIMAL FARM, has a bone to pick with Goldie.
The pace continues unabated, with the story-lines mostly interleaved and hanging together; though Boy Blue's adventures are 'historical' (but need to be told, so we understand what happens in the next volume: FABLES: MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS), and the Barelycorn Brides snippet appears to bear only a slight connection to anything going on in the main-line story thread. There's some serious violence and blood, plus some sex; people die; journalists get their due desserts, as does a fable, long overdue for the dispensing of justice; Bigby and Snow do some serious bonding in the wilderness.
Nice pace, engaging tales and, though happy endings are far off or maybe will never come, there is a good deal of overt and suppressed romance.
Full marks, as always.