|“||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.||”|
Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince is a series of comics written by V. E. Schwab and illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri, Budi Setiawan, and Enrica Eren Angiolini. It is chronologically the first series in the Shades of Magic series, taking place roughly 30 years 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, specifically how he killed the pirate queen, survived the Night of Knives, and defeated the rebel army.
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.
- Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince (2019)
- Shades of Magic: Night of Knives (2019)
- Shades of Magic: The Rebel Army (2020)
Designs and previews
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- The conversation from Teaser #1 is based on an actual conversation Schwab had with a male author.
- More LGBT characters were introduced. One of them is Isra.