Fighting For Love In A Sparrow’s Roar

A Sparrow's Roar
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Weak. Frightful. Small. These are the words to describe the sparrows who aren’t ready to take on the lion role in A Sparrow’s Roar. But one fateful day forces Sparrow Per, sister of the great General Elena, to learn how to defend a crumbling Unity. Writer Paolo Chikiamco and writer and illustrator C.R. Chua (Adventure Time) question what strength really means in this fierce tale of peace, war, determination, and sisterhood.

Once Upon A Time…

We begin by watching Per try (and fail) to hit a target with her bow and arrows. Her sister, the esteemed Commander — and soon to be General — Elena, arrives on the scene and provides us with some background on the history of their country, Unity.

Elena shares how the different sectors of Unity came together to form one peaceful nation, but we discover fairly quickly that that peace is faltering. With war looming overhead and a people to protect, how will Per preserve a cracking Unity?

Simple Sparrow

If you’re even slightly interested in knights in shining armor, sisterhood, or female characters who lead armies and kick butt, then A Sparrow’s Roar is for you! I’m a sucker for anything about knights and heroism, and having the focus be on women who are sisters just makes this comic all the more exciting for me! The story of A Sparrow’s Roar is heartbreaking yet empowering.

It kept me on my toes all the way through. Per’s stubborn strength makes her an engaging protagonist – every choice she makes has me fully invested and ready to see how she will prevail. While the dynamics between the idea of good and evil are a little overly black-and-white, if you’re looking for a straightforward tale of perseverance and heroism, look no further.

Despite the straightforward nature of the opposition, there is still a lot of richness in the plot of A Sparrow’s Roar. The tension in the perceived strength of a sparrow versus a lion creates a continuing question of what it means to be strong. While the Cambrian forces seem to think strength lies in superior weaponry and domination, Per shows us that strength comes from yourself, and from your connections with others. In fact, the unbreakable relationships between the characters are what drive this story.

A Sparrow’s Roar Is A Love Story?

Thematically, Per’s story is ultimately one of love. Love for her sister and for her home of Esterpike is what ultimately keeps Per motivated and fighting throughout the story. With loss and danger plaguing much of her interactions throughout, the need to defend her homeland, especially when no one else will, reminds Per that she cannot give up.

Elena and Per train. A Sparrow’s Roar, Page 15, BOOM! Studios (2019).

Continuing with the idea of love, the loyalty and sisterhood of those around her help give Per the strength she needs to try and win the day. Take Commander Elena’s right-hand woman, Amelia, for example. Though she outranks Per, when it becomes clear that Per is the only way to have a voice and power with the heads of Unity, Amelia backs Per up and does everything she can to protect her and the citizens of Esterpike, in honor of Elena. Alongside the other leaders of Unity, she works to defend the people and preserve the peace. It is this same love of one’s homeland, people, and family that ultimately gives our young sparrow the strength to soar.

Straight To The Point

Much like the simplicity of the straightforward plot, the artwork too is fairly simple. With its clean lines and gentle style, the art of A Sparrow’s Roar may not seem like much, but it benefits the story greatly. Many of the scenes in this story could be overly complicated to look at, given the magnitude of people, places, and ideas presented.

An introduction to Unity and Per. A Sparrow’s Roar, Page 14, BOOM! Studios (2019).
A beautiful example of the story and artwork coming together.

Uncomplicated — yet still beautiful — the artwork makes everything easier to follow. We can see exactly what we need to — without getting too overwhelmed by everything else that might be going on. Also, simple doesn’t mean bad. The art provides a comforting and almost homely smoothness that interestingly contrasts some of the scenes of war throughout the comic.

A Sparrow’s Roar: The Verdict

There are a lot of great things happening in this comic, specifically with the themes and characters. While the story is complete, there is definitely sequel material set up, and I would definitely keep reading about Per and her adventures.

Not every comic has to be groundbreaking or hugely subversive to be good, and A Sparrow’s Roar is a prime example. While the idea of good versus evil is a little simplistic for my tastes, it is a solid story overall. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a read today and discover just what makes a sparrow roar!

A Sparrow's Roar
A Sparrow's Roar by Paolo Chikiamco and C.R. Chua
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HEAR HER ROAR