Cucumber Quest Book 3: The Melody Kingdom
By Gigi DG
Published by: First Second
Review by Stephanie Cooke
Cucumber Quest is a loooooot of fun. I’ve read the previous two volumes and have written reviews for the delightful fantasy-comedy romp along the way. I couldn’t wait to get to the third book in the series and find out what’s going on with Cucumber and his pals as they try to save the world from total annihilation and all that horrible stuff.
Within this volume, the questers head to the Melody Kingdom to get a signature on their sword. Before they can get the princess to help them, she’s taken away by the Noisemaster and her whole kingdom winds up in danger of being destroyed by a powerful weapon. Meanwhile, Cucumber and co. set off to rescue the princess but instead also end up being kidnaped by a maniac that forces them to be performers in his masterpiece play. With time running out as they’re sidetracked, it’s unclear whether or not they’ll get away and be able to save the day!
There’s a lot of delightful content to enjoy within the story here. The first two volumes have set up such a fun premise that takes us from kingdom to kingdom as our heroes try to vanquish the evil that threatens them once and for all. All stories have ongoing themes and such but The Melody Kingdom does a great job of bringing the real-world relatable issue of bullying to the forefront amongst the overall silliness. It tries to show us that ultimately nobody likes a bully— you have to be yourself and hope that others will like you for who you truly are.
Despite some of those niceties, The Melody Kingdom is my least favourite of the three volumes so far. I felt like it was a little less whimsical and i sort of felt like I was a little bit lost in the last act of the story.
Don’t get me wrong though— I’m still really enjoying the overall Cucumber Quest journey and i think The Melody Kingdom is still a lot of fun to read. I love the art so gosh darn much too and the little sort of snarky “real talk” panels going on for some of the characters in between larger bits of the story. I just felt that again, this is one of the weaker Cucumber Quest tales so far.
I’m hoping for the best with the volumes to follow after this because I absolutely have to know how all of this wraps up… which still seems like it’s a while away. I think this book mentioned that there were five more kingdoms to visit so it seems likely that there are 5-6 books left to hit the shelves before Cucumber Quest comes to a close.
Read it! If you’re already enjoying the series, The Melody Kingdom is essential to continue your journey with Cucumber. If you’re just getting started, this is a series that you definitely need to start from the beginning in order to really appreciate this story for what it is.