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The Official Bryan Talbot fanpage / Articles

Heart of Empire: A review

This review was first published at, and is republished here with their permission.

From the sublime to the profane, Bryan Talbot has once again woven a remarkably complex tale of politics, personalities and perverse eccentricities. Heart of Empire, the sequel to The Adventures of Luther Arkwright,(AoLA) has all of the magnificent rendering and intricate artwork that made the first series a masterwork of the medium. This tale is to be no exception. With a honed and matured skill he has remade the lush world of AoLA, with less clutter and more flair.

Victoria, the migraine ridden, anorexic daughter of Queen Anne and Luther Arkwright is the pivotal character, the Heart of this Empire. Once again forces of great magnitude are converging. This time on the event of her 23rd birthday. Psychokinetic attacks are manifesting themselves as physical symptoms; making the young woman physically unwell, foul tempered and intolerant. None of which is endearing her to the people that she will someday rule.

But the future of that rule is precarious. The Pope has commanded a monk assassin to bring the wide and wondrous Empire of Britain into the fold and under the command of the Vatican. Where Puritanism was the watchword of the previous ruler, decadence and pomp rule this day. The slave trade flourishes, the underclasses are calling for universal suffrage, and plots within plots are ferreted out by a Gestapo like arm of the royal guard.

The wait for this sequel has been long, but when the final pages appear there will no complaints. This will prove itself to have been an epic worth waiting for.


Many thanks to for letting me re-use this, and also specifically to Tasha Lowe, the author.

If you've liked this page then also check out Popimage's reviews of the Tale of One Bad Rat, Heart of Empire and The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. Also, check out the quotes page where just about everyone famous in the comics world has something nice to say about Bryan and his work!


The design and content of this page and this entire website is copyright 1999, 2006 by James Robertson: all images are copyright 1999, 2006 by Bryan Talbot