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I received an ARC of this book for free from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review This is a graphic novel very loosely based on Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary And by loosely I mean that itlike an alternate history That being said, I still enjoyed it I had an ARC of this so the art was not complete and not in color but from what I got, I really liked the art I can tell it will look stunning in its finished version It s cute in a way that captures the innocence of the ma I received an ARC of this book for free from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review This is a graphic novel very loosely based on Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary And by loosely I mean that itlike an alternate history That being said, I still enjoyed it I had an ARC of this so the art was not complete and not in color but from what I got, I really liked the art I can tell it will look stunning in its finished version It s cute in a way that captures the innocence of the main character well The art was also successful in explaining things, like the history of the island Those panels were well done and helped the story come to life in an interesting way The overall storyline was good, however, the ending was a bit lackluster It didn t truly satisfy me When it ended, I immediately wantedI felt like it was just getting started I m hoping this could be the start of a series There s a lotto be explored This book took place solely on the island, so I would love to see the rest of the kingdom in a future book Overall, this is a wonderful graphic novel perfect for fans of history and the lives of queens A little surprised I haven t heard anyone talk about this graphic novel Although it skewsmiddle grade than YA the protagonist seems to be a girl of about ten , Queen of the Sea is a sophisticated work of alternative historical fiction, wonderfully illustrated The story is a little hard to explain, basically it s about a Mary Elizabeth I Tudor type fight for the throne, told from a perspective of Margaret, who lives in a convent on a remote island The novel borrows liberally from rea A little surprised I haven t heard anyone talk about this graphic novel Although it skewsmiddle grade than YA the protagonist seems to be a girl of about ten , Queen of the Sea is a sophisticated work of alternative historical fiction, wonderfully illustrated The story is a little hard to explain, basically it s about a Mary Elizabeth I Tudor type fight for the throne, told from a perspective of Margaret, who lives in a convent on a remote island The novel borrows liberally from real history, but is set in a fictional country If you like Tudor history or interested in details of convent living, this is a must read With graphic novels and comics for kids being produced at a rate farprodigious than ever before, you can get a little inured to the sameness of some of the titles There are the personal memoirs, mostly about white girls There are the out of this world space and robot adventures There are the magic and witch inspired fantasies And then there are the books that sort of stand apart from the pack What we don t see a lot of in a given year is realistic historical fiction You might see it With graphic novels and comics for kids being produced at a rate farprodigious than ever before, you can get a little inured to the sameness of some of the titles There are the personal memoirs, mostly about white girls There are the out of this world space and robot adventures There are the magic and witch inspired fantasies And then there are the books that sort of stand apart from the pack What we don t see a lot of in a given year is realistic historical fiction You might see it once in a while, as with Hope Larson s Compass South, Andy Hirsch s Varmints, or Matt Phelan s Snow White but generally speaking it s a rarity The idea that someone would fictionalize the life of young Queen Elizabeth I through the eyes of a child raised amongst nuns almost sounds like a crazy dare Even so, Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis stands out as one of the most accomplished, even beautiful, comics of the year Let s see what we can do to keep it from being a secret.The first thing you need to know about Margaret is that she wasn t born on the Island The second thing that you should know is that the island is full of nuns That doesn t bother Margaret, who loves her home and everything on it When she prays for another child, William and his mother appear It s strange, but for them the Island is a prison, keeping those who have angered the King in some way apart from the rest of the world When William leaves, his departure is followed by the arrival of two new guests One is a lady and the other a nun of particular venom and spite In no time at all, Margaret learns that the lady is Eleanor, the disposed queen of Albion The two bond, but theMargaret learns about her guest, theshe comes to grips with the fact that there is much she doesn t know about the world And much she doesn t realize about herself A fictionalized retelling of Queen Elizabeth I s early years The choice to fictionalize the events in this book at all was such a curious one that I ve puzzled for a while over why the choice was even made From the get go we are told that this story takes place in a country called Albion We are then presented with a map of the British Isles After that, for folks who know their history, the storyline has no difficulty keeping pace with the historical record of Queen Elizabeth s time before she came to the throne There are certainly some additions here and there, and it is for this reason that I have to assume the author sought to separate her story from that of Elizabeth s Even so, I took a strange comfort in knowing the ending , fully aware that Meconis could upend everything in future installments, if she so desired Had she kept this book with the real names in history, she could have taught kids some valuable history But isn t she teaching history with every page anyway Reading this book you can t help but learn about different types of stitching, or what the sea might wash onshore, or what a meal might consist of in the sixteenth century The choice was made with a clear purpose in mind What that purpose might be may be revealed in subsequent sequels.A good writer can infuse even the smallest side character with a singular personality It s not easy, but it can be done Comics have the advantage of allowing the reader the chance to put a face to a name As a result, you get little snippets of history about each of the nuns that reveals whole treasure troves of information about who they were and are But there are two characters in this book that captured my interest most keenly It shouldn t surprise you that they are our heroines, Margaret and the disposed queen Eleanor Margaret as protagonist and narrator is marvelous in part because her growth is so palpable She goes from innocent in all things to practically wordly in the span of 394 pages You like Margaret too You feel for her You may not always agree with her but you are always, always in her corner Eleanor, however, threatens to steal the show time and again It must have been delicious to write her She gets to be cunning and strategic in one breath and then shortsighted and a victim of her own temper in the next Her intelligence is biting, as is her wit, and you understand instantly why Margaret would want to spend time with her Many is the author that has given voice to some version of Queen Elizabeth over the years, and who could blame them She has no equal.But can I tell you a secret I love the writing Love the plot and the characters and the dialogue The whole kerschmozzle, really But the part that I keep returning to over and over that just sets my cold little heart aglow and lifts the entire enterprise up, far above the petty rabble I absolutely adore how Meconis chooses to illustrate different aspects of life on an island with nuns That s right I m goofy about convent process and this book provides Now you might suspect, and with good reason, that a book that outlines the hours of the day is not going to be particularly interesting With that in mind, Meconis infuses these selections with light and life and breath Not satisfied with just hours, however, the author quite cleverly works in other details about day to day life, seamlessly integrating them into the story If this book were a musical, then these would be the songs As a result you get some highly amusing looks at the silent hand gestures you would have to use when you eat in the Refectory talking is not allowed , the rules of chess, the animals kept by the sisters, etc I cannot claim to know a lot about comics when it comes to their specific artistry And certainly computer wizardry has grown to the point that sometimes it s impossible to tell when something is created by hand or on a screen That said, I think it s safe to say that while computer probably had a hand in the fonts and placement of words upon a page, the images themselves, for the most part, resemble nothing so much as the most incredibly adept watercolors I ve ever seen in a comic for kids I mean it truly when I tell you that each page in this book with a few purposeful exceptions is sumptuous There s a limited color palette, naturally One didn t walk around Elizabethan England wearing neon, after all Then there is so much to be said about how Meconis uses light and shadow You could pore over these pictures all day They must have taken ages to finish, and every page is worth it.Something I ve not mentioned until now is the fact that when I looked on the publication page to see how the book was made, it didn t mention watercolors at all Instead it reads, The illustrations were done in mixed media Why would it say that Because one of the delights upon reading it is discovering all the little moments when the artistic style changes For example, when Margaret is called upon to recite the trials of St Elysia, the book takes on a style not dissimilar from those illustrated manuscripts of old When Margaret learns to stitch fish, there appear to be real stitches, not illustrated ones, on the page did Dylan Meconis stitch them herself They re awfully clever When we see reproductions of art, they have a realism that day to day life can t match All this serves to break up the images in the text Combined with the book s humor, and I can stress enough how important that humor is to moving everything along, you have a book that can engage a child reader without ever boring them Because graphic novels and comics still occupy this in between space where they re respected, but only up to a point, they do not win great literary awards Nor, for that matter, do they often win awards for visual merit There are some exceptions to this, and I am grateful whenever a book that integrates text and image in new and interesting ways manages to break free of the expectations surrounding it However, for all that a book like Queen of the Sea deserves every award you can name, the likelihood is that it will be insufficiently appreciated in its time And yet, I have to believe that the combination of excellent writing, stunning art, and a storyline that will engage and entrance readers, will yield some kind of appreciation somewhere There is no other book like this one on the market today for young people Maybe that s a good thing You wouldn t want every book for kids to be as good as this If they were, where would the fun be in discovering something this thoroughly enjoyable There are kids out there that like comics and like realism and have long been starved for illustrated stories of the past Hand them this book, and then hand it to all the science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts too, because this is a book for everyone Impossible to forget, undeniable in its delights.On shelves now Betrayal, sickness, love and war Queen of the Sea is a historical fiction graphic novel full of amazing illustrations and a gripping, emotional story Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy Goodreads Blog Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Instagram Betrayal, sickness, love and war Queen of the Sea is a historical fiction graphic novel full of amazing illustrations and a gripping, emotional story Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy Goodreads Blog Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Instagram Be warned the art in this one will deceive you Based on the art and the summary, I picked this one up as a chill children s book to help get my Netgalley score up As stated in my August TBR blog post, I m very interested in reading about English history I thought this would just be a child s view on what happens in this retelling but boy was I wrong The story starts with the MC Margaret, an orphan girl and only child on an island convent, explaining the island and her own mysterious history Be warned the art in this one will deceive you Based on the art and the summary, I picked this one up as a chill children s book to help get my Netgalley score up As stated in my August TBR blog post, I m very interested in reading about English history I thought this would just be a child s view on what happens in this retelling but boy was I wrong The story starts with the MC Margaret, an orphan girl and only child on an island convent, explaining the island and her own mysterious history Margaret s sense of humor and the wonderful illustrations really brought this island to life She was my favorite character, although I did like all the other nuns living there and the servants.One day, a ship shows up with a young boy named William and his mother He and Margaret become friends, but when William s mother dies he is soon sent off the island This my friends is when the political drama gets SPICY Soon after William leaves, a very angry woman who used to be queen shows up Each page after that has the island s and it s inhabitants secrets revealedand.There are some plot twists in this book that made me physically slam my phone on the table and pout like a child My sister thought I was insane, but if she understood how much of a wild adventure this book was she would have picked up my phone and thrown it out the window.I 100% recommend for anyone who likes to read mature children s books and English history Disclosure I received an arc copy of this book from Walker Books US via NetGalley and I m reviewing it voluntarily. Historical fiction loosely based on Elizabeth I The story is told from the perspective of a young girl raised in a convent on a remote island The story is long and drawn out at 400 pages but I never found myself bored It s told in a mixture of traditional comic book panels and illustrated prose The story shifts about half way through when a mysterious woman is brought to the island as a prisoner Meconis s art has a simple, muted style to it that gave the book the look of an illustrated manu Historical fiction loosely based on Elizabeth I The story is told from the perspective of a young girl raised in a convent on a remote island The story is long and drawn out at 400 pages but I never found myself bored It s told in a mixture of traditional comic book panels and illustrated prose The story shifts about half way through when a mysterious woman is brought to the island as a prisoner Meconis s art has a simple, muted style to it that gave the book the look of an illustrated manuscript from the Middle Ages Received a review copy from Candlewick Press and netGalley all thoughts are my own and in now way influenced by the aforementioned. Fascinating alternate history, closely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I during the reign of her half sister, Bloody Mary The illustrations are amazing, and the characters and story are excellent I would love for her to continue this. &READ KINDLE ⇡ Queen of the Sea ⇶ Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen MaryWhen her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past When Eleanor s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself Margaret lives a simple life on an island convent She s the only child on the island, until William comes to live with her, the sisters, the three servants and the animals But then William s mother dies and he is sent away, and the next person to come to the island is an angry young woman who used to be queenand Margaret discovers her own secret history.This is a riveting hybrid graphic novel there s a lot of text in addition to illustrations that is an alternate history version of Englan Margaret lives a simple life on an island convent She s the only child on the island, until William comes to live with her, the sisters, the three servants and the animals But then William s mother dies and he is sent away, and the next person to come to the island is an angry young woman who used to be queenand Margaret discovers her own secret history.This is a riveting hybrid graphic novel there s a lot of text in addition to illustrations that is an alternate history version of England, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I While it s not a direct retelling, it does pull rather liberally from the history books, particularly with Mary s feud with Elizabeth and her subsequent exile while Mary was queen.Margaret was a lively narrator, with a sense of humor that really brought life in a 16th century island convent to life those illustrations omg , and I loved all of the sisters and the servants, who all lived on the island for various reasons the sisters because they had been imprisoned noblewomen, and the servants because that is where they worked.The sense of history and politics and religion was well wrapped into everything, along with the ancient peoples who had populated the island before it became a convent prison I really enjoyed reading about the lives of noblewomen and the power and fickleness of monarchs, and the bonds of people living in a very isolated community together and how they all raised one special child.This is a lower YA graphic novel that upper MG readers would probably also enjoy along with adults and those who like reading about English history, the Tudors, and alternate history.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review A deliberately paced and immersive alternate history that may be a bit of a challenge for the young audience to which it is targeted, but the plucky young heroine should carry them through Though set entirely in a convent on a small, remote island, plentiful storytelling and royal court intrigues keep the book from feeling claustrophobic I would certainly be interested in seeing the sequel set up by the conclusion.