The Ending The Story Deserved: Sparrowhawk #5 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Artemisia finally makes it to the mirror that will lead from Faerie and back to her world. She undergoes her final transformation, but she must leave Crispin and the beast behind on the journey. However, someone must take Art’s place in the Faerie, but Art pays the price with ease. She tracks down the Unseelie Queen to a ball where the Queen has taken the visage of Art. The final battle begins, with Art in her new bladed form and the Unseelie Queen simply looking like Art.

Sparrowhawk #5 cover by Miguel Mercado
Sparrowhawk #5 cover by Miguel Mercado

Many stories try to tell the tale of a hero that becomes the thing that they hate most. Many either don’t follow through or fumble the moral by redeeming their hero somewhat. Sparrowhawk #5 makes no such mistake, bringing Art to an endpoint where she is just as cruel and careless as the Unseelie Queen herself.
It’s not subtle in this goal, but it doesn’t turn towards the reader and directly state that this is happening either. It dawns on you as you’re watching Art, now a winged and bladed creature, fighting the Unseelie Queen clothed in the appearance of old Art and a white dress.
The ending exceeds the term “bittersweet.” While Art does “win,” she gains nothing through the experience beyond being back in her world. She gains no love or respect from her family and peers. In fact, one could argue she lost far more than she gained, and the Unseelie Queen herself gave Art many outs before the battle ended.
Sparrowhawk #5 art by Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty, and letterer Jim Campbell
Sparrowhawk #5 art by Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty, and letterer Jim Campbell

Matias Basla’s artwork shines through to the ending as well. The battle between Art and the Queen is elaborate and compelling. The emotionality of both characters adds a lot to the depth of the book. It’s an all-around gorgeous book, and that’s before even mentioning the excellent color work of Rebecca Nalty.
Sparrowhawk #5 ends with a bang, providing the rare ending on par and even exceeding the content of what came before it. It’s a brilliant finale and one easily worth a recommendation. Give it a read.
Sparrowhawk #5 comes to us from writer Delilah S. Dawson, artist Matias Basla, color artist Rebecca Nalty, letterer Jim Campbell, and cover artist Miguel Mercado.

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