ARC Review- Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

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Title: Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
Author: M. T. Anderson
Illustrator: Andrea Offermann
Type: Graphic Novel
Genre: Fantasy and/or Historical Fistion
Length: 144 pgs
Published by: Candlewick Press
Pub date: March 14th, 2017
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: I won this ARC via a raffle at Rochester Teen Book Fest

My Rating: ★★★★☆

See other ratings and reviews at Goodreads, then check out the author’s and illustrator’s websites!

The short version: This was a fun, easy read. If you’re looking to break into graphic novels or Arthurian Tales for the first time, this is a great place to start.

The long version: M.T. Anderson’s graphic novel tells the story of Sir Yvain, the cousin of the more well-known knight, Sir Gawain. My own knowledge of Arthurian tales is pretty limited; I’ve seen a few movies, read a few novels, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have read Tolkien’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Even with my Arthurian newbie status, this novel has everything I would expect from such a story: curses, quests, fights to the death, and love lost, betrayed, and regained.

One thing I wasn’t expecting, but was pleased to see, was that the women were given a bit more autonomy than I’m used to seeing in such stories. Most of the catalysts and resolutions are set in motion by women, though the tasks themselves are usually completed by men.

Even with their extra autonomy, though, I don’t think the women necessarily get happy endings. For example, the very end: {SPOILER} Yvain betrays his wife’s trust, and then essentially tricks her into reconciling with him, forcing her into a marriage she seems none too pleased with. {END SPOILER} But that isn’t really out-of-place in the genre.

While I enjoyed the story itself, it was the artwork that really pulled me in. The facial expressions Offermann provides is what really lets readers into the minds of the characters (especially the lady leads). It’s the images that really let us see where the characters stand and allow us to sympathize with them, while also showing us that the “happily ever after” isn’t always as happy as people assume.

All in all, this was a fun read. I enjoyed both the story and the artwork, and I would recommend it to anyone new to graphic novels or Arthurian tales.

Overall, I gave Yvain 4 stars:


Thanks for reading! How do you feel about Arthurian Tales? What about graphic novels? Let me know if you’re planning on reading this book, or tell me your thoughts if you’ve already read it in the comments below!


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