Myre: Chronicles of Yria, Vol. 1, by Claudya Schmidt and Matt W. Davis – Book Review by Fred Patten
by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Myre: Chronicles of Yria, volume 1, by Claudya Schmidt and Matt W. Davis
Berlin, AlectorFencer, January 2017, hardcover €35,00 (unpaged [172 pages]), softcover €29,00. Shipping to North America: add €8,00 for the hardcover; €5,00 for the softcover.
Claudya Schmidt and Matt W. Davis are better-known in furry fandom as the artist AlectorFencer and the stand-up comedian 2, the Ranting Gryphon. They, primarily AlectorFencer with 2’s help in plotting and writing, have been working on Myre for seven years. Now, thanks to long work and the financial aid of many Crowdsourcing supporters, the first volume of a planned trilogy is out. It’s only available from AlectorFencer at her home in Berlin, but they have published the English edition first. A German edition will be available in 2018 at the same prices.
Myre is a monumental undertaking. The hardcover edition is 13” x 9”; the softcover is almost as large at 12” x 8”. It is in full glossy color, 160 pages of story and 12 pages of concept art. Both editions come wrapped in cellophane. The hardcover has a sewn-in ribbon bookmark. The total price (book + shipping) is about $US55.00 for the hardcover or $US40.00 for the softcover.
Myre is a cigarette-smoking, hardbitten maned-wolf wanderer who comes out of Yria’s desert. She rides her dragon-mount Varug. Obviously, “dragon” here means something other than traditional flying, fire-breathing reptiles, although just what Varug is will be developed in the story. She is more than a Yrian horse, though. She and Myre are close friends. Yria is a huge world. This part of Myre’s adventure takes place in Yria’s desert wastelands; there is much more elsewhere.
(Well, AlectorFencer says in the FAQ on yriachronicles.com that Yria is a fantasy world. Many characters look like anthropomorphic Earth animals, and many are completely original. So calling any of them a maned-wolf, a badger, a lion, or any other Earth animal is too simplistic. For practical purposes, though, Myre is a red-haired anthro maned-wolf.)
Chronicles of Yria begins with a creation myth. “Long ago, when all was verdant and alive, there lived a race of people who were as old and as wise as the lands in which they lived. They were the children of the Ylducian, the dragons of old, and they lived in peace when Yria was vast and green.” Here are the winged, fire-spewing dragons that we are familiar with. The myth goes on to tell how Yria fell from glory, the dragons disappeared, their treasure was lost, and today the world is dry and desolate.
“Who will carry on seeking for what we almost forgot? Who will begin the journey that will restore the life of Yria? It was her.”
Myre doesn’t know where she came from, except the desert. “I lived in the desert with my uncle. He raised me. One night, the bastard just walked out… left me. I woke up and the only thing left was footprints into the desert. That’s the last I saw him. So, I left too. Didn’t have anyone to stay for.”
The world through which Myre wanders carries “a wretched hive of scum and villainy” to a new low. She is alone except for Varug. The only two supporting characters who might be important – they aren’t yet, but they may return – are Boozer, a wise old (when he isn’t drunk) badger, and Lutz, a young street urchin. Myre wanders from place to place, each worse than the one before, until she meets the legendary monsters of whom everybody is afraid: the Dwellers. Volume II will be The Lore of the Dwellers.
But the plot is just an excuse for AlectorFencer’s fantastic art. Myre: Chronicles of Yria is not available from Amazon or any standard bookstore. She drew and published it herself, and is selling it herself. See the yriachronicles.com weblink. In addition to the books, there are collectable cards, art prints, and gift-wrapping paper. There will be more in the future, including Haunter of Dreams, a comic book about “the tales and lores of Yria”.
AlecterFencer is a very popular German furry artist. She has done furry art commissions for years. Her art can be seen on DeviantArt and FurAffinity, including a photograph on DeviantArt of herself holding a printer’s proof of a sheet (4 pages) from Myre.
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