Review of "Rex Mundi: The Guardian of the Temple"
“Rex Mundi: The Guardian of the Temple” written by Arvid Nelson and illustrated by Eric J is an impressive graphic novel. The story takes place in Paris. The year is 1933, but with the backdrop of a revisionist past. Avrid Nelson’s France along with all of Europe is still ruled by monarchies. The Ottoman and Holy Roman empires still exist. Guilds and knightly orders exert influence on society, while sorcery is very real and policed by the Church. All these themes are flawlessly interwoven. Despite the factual and historical differences, the tale feels like it takes place in 1930’s Paris.
The story’s protagonist is Dr. Julien Sauniere. The intrigue begins when Father Marin asks him to investigate the theft of a medieval scroll from his church. During the course of Juelien’s investigation, he discovers a series or ritual killings tied to a secret society. But as he digs deeper into the mystery of the missing scroll, he catches the attention of those who don’t want their secrets revealed…
Eric J makes this world come to life. The visual design of the cloths, furniture, and architecture is historically accurate. Using full-page spreads of newspaper stories to give the readers a sense of the time and players in this altered world is a stroke of genius. Eric’s illustrations work well with Nelson’s story to immerse the reader in a tale of conspiracy and magic. I haven’t read anything this good since The Sandman Series.