The Sword is the first story I've read by the Luna brothers, and I had passed over the book in single-issue form many times - I think because the art didn't immediately grab me, or maybe because the story sounded predictable. When I actually sat down with the first volume I was surprised by how quickly I grew to like the simple, yet expressive artwork and the book's thoughtful and realistic characters. I was immediately sucked in.
The Sword respects its readers in the highest form possible - by gracefully allowing its characters and their actions to make sense. I cannot stress enough how rare this is in mainstream comics, film and tv storytelling. Dara is a smart, strong young woman who makes tough but credible decisions under some incredible and traumatic circumstances. And I appreciate the fact that (unlike so many other contemporary stories about young adults) Dara, her friends, and the characters who populate The Sword don't waste their/our time spouting inane pop culture references or having empty soap opera histrionics. The story is lean and thoughtful, the stakes are high, and the book's pace is an expert display of economy and purpose - all very refreshing and highly entertaining.
I bought volume 2 the next day, and having read that as well I am very eager to uncover the rest of the story. The Sword is a book I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to fans of all storytelling where the characters feel true, and the tale is thrilling. I will especially enjoy having another title I can confidently recommend to the women I know who have an interest in comics, but are always looking for alternatives to the typical super-hero laden mainstream.