Publisher's Note:  

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this beautifully detailed hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When 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. In a hybrid novel of fictionalized history, Dylan Meconis paints Margaret’s world in soft greens, grays, and reds, transporting readers to a quiet, windswept island at the heart of a treasonous royal plot.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Candlewick Press

Queen of the Sea

by Dylan Meconis

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Overall Review:  

Queen of the Sea, by Dylan Meconis, is a vivid historical fiction in a graphic novel format that will appeal to young readers. The story contains intrigue and court politics that should capture the imagination of the older middle grade reader, and the whimsical way in which the story is told from a child's point of view will draw in an even younger audience. The illustrations are plentiful and entertaining, and they lend a life to the story that words alone would not.

The main character, Margaret, is a charming young girl who readers will fall instantly in love with. As an ordinary child looking for her place in the world, she presents a very relatable persona. Young readers, and especially you girls, will find much to identify with in this kind young lady who is looking for friendship and a place of belonging in the world. The book discusses many aspects of historic day-to-day living, and readers will come away from this book knowing a little something more about life and society of days gone by than when they opened it. This entertaining and beautifully-written book is worth a reader's time.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  A character rips a fistful of a woman's hair out; a few reports of a prior wars (no details); a few verbal threats; a woman threatens another with a knife; report of a few past deaths or executions; report of a stillborn baby; report of a theft; a few reports of shipwrecks; a character in a story is wounded and dies; brief mention that children were hit with a spoon as punishment; a character is thrown overboard from a ship; a storm results in moderate property damage; a character destroys artwork made by another; a character slaps another; an adult tries to burn a child's hand; and animal bites a character; a character nearly drowns; a shipwreck, with sailors drowned and wounded; characters find a dead body, but it is only shown covered with a cloth.

Sex/Nudity:  Characters flirt verbally; characters flirt and hug each other; an illustration shows a supernatural being with a figure similar to a human woman wearing no clothes, but no details are shown; a character announces her engagement; discussion of royal marriages and annulments; a chaste love story is recounted; a man and woman kiss; discussion of political marriages compared to real love.

Mature Subject Matter:  

A character is an orphan; piracy (mention); theft; unfair imprisonment; death of a parent; government corruption; assassination (mention); martyrdom is defined briefly.

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Reviewed By Calinda
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