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(The Pied) Piper

Piper is a graphic novel written by the acclaimed authors, Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg, and it tells the ancient story of the Pied Piper. It follows the story of a deaf girl named Maggie who lives in a rat-infested village, Hameln, in the midst of the German countryside. She is chastised by the townspeople for her disability, and spends her time daydreaming about true love. Meanwhile, she is plagued with fearful memories of her past and deals with her own present pains. Yet one day as she is completing the normal of her life, a stranger walks into the town, whistling an eerie tune. Immediately after his arrival, the town gossips have plagued his character with judgemental rumors and sacrilegious reverence for his dark magical powers. As Maggie’s relationship with this stranger deepens not only does her admiration for him grow, but she also realizes an inner darkness that he hides.

Piper weaves the long-forgotten tale of the Pied Piper into a fantastically fascinating story of myth that is both legend and reality. The illustrations are simple yet beautiful in a blunt way, creating a classic tale of overcoming fear of those different than us and finding (the cliched) true love. Although it was a quick and simple read, it definitely sparked a question inside me and made me mull over stories of the past.

Although it was quite a short, abrupt novel that left me craving for more fleshed out details and riveting plot points. The storyline was predictable and presented in such a way that it was not unique, although the topic was one that could have inspired a truly splendid tale. Maggie is generic and the whole ordeal of true love in sickening in its overdone-ness. The dialogue in unbelievable and too proper and there are many events that take place which are skimmed over without a second thought. Even with its apparent flaws, though, it reawoke a part of the wonder of the past within me.

On a whole, it was a perfect escape read that resurfaced many questions and thoughts that I had not thought of in a long while. I recommend this for anyone seeking a normal fairytale with a not-so-normal topic.