Hmm, it strikes me that Animal Farm, although quite a nice bookend to Rose Red, is rather superfluous in the scheme of things—I don’t feel like I actually learned that much that I didn’t know, or that I couldn’t extrapolate when I jumped on board at volume 7 or 8. Such is life when you read Fables out of order. In any case, I think the complex heights that the series reaches several years down the line are necessarily more impressive than this second volume, the first with Mark Buckingham on board, and character design is still trying to be ironed out.
Rose Red begins her reform, Snow White escapes from Shere Khan, I finally find out why Colin the pig’s head is on a stick, Goldilocks makes her first (annoying) appearance, and people start to wonder if something isn’t going on between Snow and Bigby Wolf. I have to say that Buckingham’s anthropomorphic animals here are incredibly well done, especially the pigs and the bears. Reynard the Fox—who had a small throwaway moment in Rose Red—has quite a heroic turn here. Other things that bear fruit later are sown: the Forsworn Knight, for one.