“The Return of the Maharaja” continues as Nalayani and Prince Charming spend a little time together separated from the rest of the royal entourage and Nalayani learns the series of events that led to Charming becoming India’s latest Maharaja. Although the pair are able to get out of their predicament involving a crocodile and quicksand at the issue beginning, Fairest #17 also introduces a new threat to Charming’s reign as Maharaja.
The quick thinking that gets the pair out of danger in the issue’s first few pages work well. Charming’s flashbacks give us some insight into the series of events on how the prince took power without ever addressing why Charming was in India in the first place. This also forces Nalayani’s story, the arc’s best character, to be put on hold for an entire issue.
The plague which first hits one of Charming’s concubines and later the Maharaja takes the arc even further from the story of Nalayani’s village. The source of the disease and eventual cure might turn out to offer interest insights into both characters, but for now I’m a bit concerned with the shift in direction of this latest arc. Hit-and-Miss.