'Beautiful Darkness': A dark story, gorgeously illustrated

'Beautiful Darkness' by Kerascoët and Fabien Vehlmann
'Beautiful Darkness' by Kerascoet and Fabien Vehlmann
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Ronald Davis, co-owner of Wild Fig Books & Coffee in Lexington, Ky.

There's a persistent myth about booksellers — that they spend all day reading.

In fact, Ronald Davis has very little time to read while running Wild Fig Books & Coffee. That's why he planned to just flip through a few pages of "Beautiful Darkness" when he first picked it up — but he was hooked.

"I finished the whole thing," Davis said.

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The graphic novel is not for the faint of heart; it's a "very dark story, gorgeously illustrated." It centers around a group of fairies who live inside a decomposing body.

"The dark part is how they treat each other," Davis said. "You grow up on all these fairy tales, and you're not used to sprites being so vicious to each other. It's almost this 'Pan's Labyrinth'-type of thing."

Davis recommends the book for fans of Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore or Terry Pratchett. The end of the graphic novel moved him to tears.

"It was sad and beautiful at the same time. I highly recommend it. You have to kind of be a dark person, a little bit, to truly appreciate it. But that's the type of person I am."

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