Crécy (Warren Ellis’…)

    (Avatar, 2007)
™ and © 2007 Warren Ellis

Crécy is an interesting bit of historical fiction from author Warren Ellis, better known for his deconstructive super-hero tales like The Authority. It tells the story of a mid-fourteenth century battle in Crécy, France between French forces and the invading English, who, as our point-of-view character William explains to us, are tired of the French bullying their country. The story of the battle, in which the French lose some 30,000 forces and the English lose a few hundred, is amazing, and one cannot help but think that this would make an excellent movie, especially given the success of 2007’s adaptation of 300.

Although it is historical, Crécy is not without Warren Ellis’ usual sense of humor; in particular, our narrator talks to readers in the present time, cracks a lot of jokes with a lot of colorful words, and helps a lot in establishing a context for the battle that any modern reader could understand. And there are interesting political allegories at work here, as William says at the end of the story: “No-one will understand how much modern warfare comes from this night and this field.” It makes one wonder…

— Eric Garneau

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