Thursday, June 13, 2019

Queen of the Sea

Queen of the Sea. Dylan Meconis. 2019. Candlewick Press. 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: A queen does not abandon her people.

Premise/plot: Queen of the Sea is a graphic novel loosely inspired by the Tudors. Loosely. The author purposefully did not make it about Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I. Though that would have been an intriguing subject for a graphic novel, that isn't this graphic novel.

Queen of the Sea has a young heroine, Margaret, who has lived on an island, Albion, off another island, also Albion. She doesn't know who her father and mother were, or if they are alive or dead. All she knows is life at the convent. But while you might think life at the convent would offer no variety, no excitement, no adventure...well, you'd be mostly right...but not completely. Plenty happens--for better or worse.

It is a lovely coming of age novel.

My thoughts: I loved it. That's the short version. Did I love it because it's a graphic novel? No. Yes. Maybe. I really, really, really loved the characters and the story. Part of that story is told in the illustrations. So while a novel on the same topic would most likely thrill me just as much, there's a little something special in the illustrations.

I loved the characterization. I loved spending time with Margaret, William, Eleanor, Francis, and some of the sisters. Margaret and Eleanor's relationship is complex--rightly so. This one just had depth and substance to it. 
I loved the story and found it compelling. I read this one in one sitting. It was rough there at the end--it's hard for me to sit still that long--but it was worth it. No bookmark needed. Ha!
I would definitely recommend this one. Perhaps not to those that love, love, love graphic novels. I think the appeal is the HISTORY and the WORLD-BUILDING. If you don't love history, if you don't find it fascinating, then I'm not sure that this graphic novel would sweep you up, up, and away. But if you do, this is a treat of a book. So give it a try even if graphic novels aren't quite your cup of tea.  

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Alyssa Nelson said...

This looks great! I enjoy graphic novels, and the illustrations on the cover look fantastic. Great review!