Shades of Magic Wiki
Maxim Maresh became one of the most controversial figures in the Shades of Magic series, more often seen as an antagonist than a hero. But The Steel Prince paints a different picture of the young man, long before he was king. It has taken incredible talent to bring his journey to life on the page. The artistry with which Andrea and Enrica have captured young Maxim borders on true magic. I can't wait for readers to see the rest of the story and the beautiful artwork in The Steel Prince this fall.

V. E. Schwab, Source

Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince is a series of comics written by V. E. Schwab and illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri,[1] Budi Setiawan, and Enrica Eren Angiolini‏‎. It is chronologically the first series in the Shades of Magic series, taking place roughly 30 years[2][3][4] before the Shades of Magic trilogy.

The comics tell various stories about Maxim's time at the Blood Coast when he was Rhy's age,[5][6][7] specifically how he killed the pirate queen, survived the Night of Knives, and defeated the rebel army.[8][9]

After individual releases in 2019 and 2020, a box set will be released on October 19, 2021. It will come with art cards featuring the cover art from the single issues.[10]




Teaser #1[]

Isra: "Don't worry, you're not my type."
Maxim: "Let me guess, you don't like royals."
Isra: "I don't like men."


Designs and previews[1][]


  • The plot of The Steel Prince comics was originally a side story in A Conjuring of Light. However, it did not fit and was later retooled.[6]
    • V. E. Schwab also chose to turn Maxim's story into a comic series rather than into a prequel novel series as it would have been too "distracting" while simultaneously working on the upcoming sequel novels—Threads of Power. Furthermore, Titan Comics had talked with her about potentially writing comics before.[11]
  • When Schwab teased Maxim's backstory in A Conjuring of Light, she mentioned the pirate queen, Night of Knives, and rebel army because those events sounded "cool." She did not know any specifics about them until she started working on the comics; thus, she had "to go about it in reverse-fashion."[12][13]
  • The conversation from Teaser #1 is based on an actual conversation Schwab had with a male author.[14]
  • More LGBT characters were introduced.[15] One of them is Isra.[16][17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "V.E. Schwab announces new Shades of Magic prequel comic series" — EW
  2. "STEEL PRINCE is a prequel, set roughly 30 years before ADSOM."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  3. "It's set 30 years before A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC"
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  5. "Interview: V.E. Schwab Talks Continuing the Magic in 'Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince'" — Comicbook
  6. 6.0 6.1 "I had a side story that didn't fit into A Conjuring of Light, one that went back instead of forward. And it was about Maxim Maresh when he was Rhy's age."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  7. Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince — Character Breakdown
  8. A Conjuring of Light — Kindle notes and highlights
  9. "Yes, The Steel Prince is going to be 12 issues! 3 volumes! 1. The Steel Prince and the Pirate Queen. 2. The Steel Prince and the Night of Knives. 3. The Steel Prince and the Rebel Army."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  10. "Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince: 1-3 Boxed Set" — Amazon
  12. "V. E. Schwab Returns To Her Hit Fantasy World Shades of Magic" — Previews World
  13. Shades of Magic: Night of Knives — An Interview with V. E. Schwab
  14. "Snippet brought to you by a conversation I had with a male author at a con one time. He fell backward in his chair."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  15. "can we expect any lgbt characters in steel prince?" — "Yep!"
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  16. Teaser #1 — V. E. Schwab on Twitter
  17. "Isra is [gay]."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)