Three hundred years ago, the Orphic ruling family of Aberwelle was destroyed, and the Academists took over, ensuring order. But legend tells of a lost princess, who escaped to the forest and lives there to this day.
Tamaura has almost completed her contract when she is abducted by an Academist. Escaping the restraints, she finds herself in Kirkhall, where her family once ruled. But much has changed in her absence, as Orphics are now considered the dregs of society, their magic powers forcefully sealed away. Taken in by several rebels, she makes friends with Imogene and Street, and begins to learn about this new world. But Harris, the Academist, is still searching for her, hoping to use her power to change the balance between the ruling Academists and the downtrodden Orphics. When news of Tamaura’s return spreads, other factions begin hunting for her, wanting to use her for their own ends. In the meantime, the Spirits still want their contract fulfilled, to return the magic to the land. In the end, Tamaura is the only one who can bring peace to both worlds.
Using the allegory of magic, Kadi Fedoruk neatly embodies the contentions raised between loyalty to tradition versus progress and change, with the pros and cons of each. In Blindsprings, the leading characters are female, and are unapologetically so. Tamaura, Street, and Imogene argue, laugh, fight, and cry like human beings, and are not afraid to jump into danger, even when it would be best to wait. Meanwhile, they try to work around the different factions that fight to have control over magic and ultimately Tamaura. Even the organizations that profess to help restore magic to the land have their own goals, and can seem sinister at times. Harris serves as an example, for while he claims he wants to help Tamaura, he is also boastful, wanting to show off his power, but using his pride against him, she escapes his clutches. Although she is a child and often treated with condescension, Tamaura is resilient and continues to fight for her land, despite it having forgotten who she is.
Fedoruk’s art is hard to describe; architecture, landscapes, and clothing design have a Victorianesque influence. However, her characters range across ethnicity and race, giving equal status to all. Similar to ordinary-vs-magic tropes, the humans are realistic in design, while the Spirits are peculiar in form. In Blindsprings the Spirits are similar to kabuki puppets, wearing masks and elaborate costumes that hide their shape, which adds an ethereal layer to their strange appearances. Fedoruk plays with light and shadow very well, showcasing beautiful artwork with a balance of cheerful and eerie.
Blindsprings updates on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Read it at Blindsprings.com.