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Wynd Book Two: The Secret of the Wings Review!

"I'm sorry you weren't able to be yourself. That must have been very lonely."

Hello this is Joe Loves Comics, and welcome back to the first, and maybe only ever official installment of this unofficial series I just decided to call "Gay books I love that made me emotional" because sometimes I like to shake up how I start my reviews. Some of my reviews could probably be classed under that name, but I won't officially name them that. Maybe I'll make a list of them though, now I think about it. I'll see.

Do you ever re-read a book you felt somewhat underwhelmed with the first time, love it, and realise that the first time you must have not been in the right frame of mind for it? I don't know whether it was because this second time I didn't have any expectations, and so I could just enjoy it for what it is, or anything else, but that was just another thing I thought about.

I absolutely adored the first volume of this series. If you know me on here you might know it's one of my "20 Comics to Get to Know Me", and boy is it's spot on that list well earned and deserved. Alongside the paperbacks, these lovely similarly sized hardcovers were released as well, exclusive to comic shops. Before I start talking about the art and story, I continue to absolutely love the design of these collections. From the overall feel of them, the chapter breaks, and everything else the whole aesthetic of them is really satisfying, pleasing and just generally fits so well with the cosy YA feel of the story.

That leads nicely into my thoughts on the story itself. I thought the first volume felt very self-contained, where there was a lot of world-building throughout, lots of teases and hints and loose threads started that could be easily developed and picked up later on, but on the whole it felt like a satisfying story on its own. I think that speaks to the quality of the writing there. It wasn't so open-ended it felt unsatisfying, but it was open-ended enough that any sequels didn't feel contrived.

"The Secret of the Wings" picks up almost right where "The Flight of the Prince" left off, and I loved just how grand and sprawling this second book felt right from the start, whilst retaining that cosy YA feel that I mentioned. The previous volume gave us some backstory both on Wynd himself, and some of the geopolitics of the region, but this dives into that (more so the latter, but there are some important developments on the former) even more and in a very dramatic way.

Since that was all amplified, the balance between those dramatic moments, and the more emotional, character based moments with Wynd and others were even more prominent. There's effectively 3 main storylines going throughout this volume, all balanced well, and all very intertwined.

Pivoting a bit, the quote I used to start this review struck me, when I re-read it this time.

It felt so... raw. Like I mentioned earlier, there's a reason this series holds a special place not only on my "20 Comics to Get to Know Me" but also in my heart. The themes I adored from the first volume are all carried through here, and expanded upon, again mostly focused around identity, finding your place in the world and just generally finding your true self. Not just for the character of Wynd necessarily either, but lots of the characters here. In the case of Wynd though it's from the perspective of a gay main character, if you're not familiar with the series, so as a gay man myself it feels very personal and relatable to me.

Wynd as a book, and the world it has created, simultaneously feels expansive yet deeply personal, and that's communicated incredibly well through the artwork. It's interesting because as I was re-reading this I was trying to figure out how to describe Dialynas's art style. It's dynamic and animated, and the coloring has a very rich, cosy, beautiful pastel like feel to it. It doesn't feel vibrant or energetic or very digital in the way you might see in comics these days, but something quieter and again I just keep coming back to the word cosy. It just feels so real, from the action to the settings to the characters to the expressions. The expressions are fantastic. I felt every single one of them in both books, so when the story hits the deeply emotional beats surrounding Wynd and his journey with his identity, I felt it deep, deep, deep in my heart.

This book ends on a nice cliffhanger, so I'm so, so excited for the third book, "The Throne in the Sky", that came out in single issues last year to release in a collection, hopefully with another nice hardcover like the two we have so far.

To conclude the review of this book though, truly beautiful work. Representation matters, always. I absolutely can't recommend Wynd enough if you're interested and you haven't read it already.


If you want more of Joe's comic thoughts and reviews, you can find him on Twitter @JoeLovesComics and on the League of Comic Geeks also @JoeLovesComics.

You can also find his podcast on Twitter @JoeTalksComics, which you can listen to through Anchor, where you can find links to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, or you can click those hyperlinks directly.

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