Forbidden Harbor
Forbidden Harbor

Forbidden Harbor

By Teresa Radice, Illustrated by Stefano Turconi


320 Pages, 7.5 x 10.5

Formats: Hardcover, ebook: PDF

Hardcover, $29.99 (US $29.99) (CA $39.99)

Publication Date: October 2019

ISBN 9781681122328

Price: $29.99


Winner of the prestigious award for best graphic novel at the Lucca Comics Festival

In the summer of 1807, the Explorer, a ship from Her Majesty's Navy recovers a young shipwreck off the coast of Siam, Abel, who can only remember his name. He soon becomes friends with the first officer, acting as a captain because the commander of the ship has apparently absconded with the ship's treasure. Abel returns to England with the Explorer and finds accommodation at the inn run by the three fugitive captain's daughters. Well before he can recover his memory, however, he will discover something deeply disturbing about himself, and he will understand the true nature of some of the people who helped him. A haunting and intense book that digs into the soul of the protagonists as well as the reader, with a generous helping of good ol' fashioned salty adventure along with many a shanty sung and a sprinkling of magic dust. Presented in a handsome old style, with a worn-looking hardcover, as if taken from a ship captain's library. An uplifting, enthralling escape.


STARRED REVIEW "Radice's flowing prose and Turconi's fanciful pen invite even the utterly uninitiated to delve into the delight of a sailor's tale." —Emilia Packard, Library Journal

STARRED REVIEW "That rare gift of a graphic novel that embeds itself in a reader's memory, worthy of occupying permanent space in the mind and on the bookshelf" —Peter Dabbene, Foreword

"This heartfelt paean to sailing culture will treat readers to a resplendent expedition." —Publishers Weekly

"Sometimes when I open packages containing books for review, I am simply blown away by what I see before I even open the book itself. Some books just stand apart for their pure craftsmanship inside and out. That was the experience when I opened the package containing Teresa Radice and Stefano Turconi's Forbidden Harbor collection from NBM Graphic Novels. As with many of the offerings from NBM, The Forbidden Harbor is not an American comic. The series was originally published in four parts in Italy, but NBM has collected the entirety into one impressive tome translated into English. The look of the volume took me back to my childhood reading of old books about adventure on the high seas and the dangers of travel in the old days (I read a lot of strange books as a kid), and that is exactly what the story of The Forbidden Harbor is. It's an homage, a throwback to the stories about tall ships and their crews during the great age of discovery when European sailors spread out across the ocean and explored frontiers that their countries only dreamed about before they took the chance to travel to them. The Forbidden Harbor centers on a young castaway, Abel, who's found and rescued by a British Royal Navy ship. Abel remembers nothing of his life before he was picked up, and he has all the traits of a man unused to work -- soft hands and aristocratic manners -- but he knows a great deal about sailing and the workings of a ship. His appearance coincides with the mysterious disappearance of the ship's captain, and upon his return home he takes up residence in the inn owned by the captain's family and operated by the missing captain's daughters. Abel befriends a woman who claims she can unlock his past, and from there the story spins into lost love, betrayal and unraveling mysteries. A great many readers will find The Forbidden Harbor an unusual work. Not only is it closer in style to prose novels, but the art style is also unlike anything you will find on the shelves of any comic shop or even in the graphic novel section of a bookstore. It would be tempting to call it unfinished -- not only is it black and white (which some find unlikable), but it also doesn't have any inking. The entirety is done in graphite. If you can move past the expectation of inking, you may find it as charming as I did. There's something about the delicacy of the pencil work and the detail that shines through in many of the panels, making The Forbidden Harbor a special kind of artwork in its own right. Like the subject matter and the manner in which NBM chose to bind the book, it all makes the whole thing more of a piece and a tribute to the stories of adventures on the high seas that once enthralled audiences just as their loved ones made their way out into a world of danger and mystery."—William Kulesa,

Author Biography

Teresa Radice and Stefano Turconi were born close to each other in the mid-70s but only met in 2004. She writes stories for a living; he draws them. They liked each other immediately and married the following year. Their first professional collaborations were for Disney, and in 2013 they created Violette.