Finally! War and battle and plenty of action await in the fourth volume of Fables alongside satisfying amounts of tragic love, betrayal, and several sorts of witchery. Also In this excellent volume, the mysterious Adversary (we still don’t know who he is) extends his malevolent reach to the mundane world (that would be our world), where the Fables (they would be the immortal characters of legendary tales) have found safe haven for the last passing centuries.
The first short story of the volume — “The Last Castle” – serves as prologue to the longer arc that follows. We’re back in Manhattan on an early summer’s day, and Boy Blue’s trumpeting echoes melancholically throughout the plushy -antique offices of Fabletown. Every year, exactly on the same day, Blue gets too depressed to work. He spends the night drinking at a closed-circle gathering (to which Snow white — his boss — is never invited), and is too hung over to show to work the next day.
It’s the Ides of May which puts Blue in such a distracted mood. It’s a private Remembrance-day, marked solely by the group of Fables who were the last to escape the Homelands. Snow White, having arrived to the mundane world centuries before Blue, was never let in on the actual details of this last exodus. It’s time Blue shared his own personal tale, a tale which also happens to chronicle the final and heroic battle of the free Fables.
As Blue narrates his own story, we shift into the magical homelands again. This time we’re at the far keep on the edge of the worlds, where fugitive Fables from all corners of the magical realms, had assembled under Colonel Bearskin’s command, to make one last stand against the Adversary’s legions.
We encounter new Fables (well, new to the series, but already of some renown in mundane myth) such as Robin Hood and his Miry Men, Britomart Lady-Knight and many others. All these Fables did not make it into the mundane world; instead they chose to stay behind and fight a doomed battle, thus securing the safe passage (through the magical portal) for the few others.