Queen of the Sea

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 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....

DownloadRead Online
Title:Queen of the Sea
Author:Dylan Meconis
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Queen of the Sea Reviews

  • Betsy

    With graphic novels and comics for kids being produced at a rate far more prodigious 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 far more prodigious 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

    , Andy Hirsch’s

    , or Matt Phelan’s

    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,

    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 the more Margaret learns about her guest, the more she 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

    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.

  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending an ARC of this one my way. Queen of the Sea was such a pleasant surprise! Such a creative retelling of history. I loved the setting and the cast of characters. Plus, there’s plenty of political intrigue. So so good, and I really hope there are future books in this series!

  • Billie

    I can't wait to see the finished version in full-color. And I really hope it has a sequel.

  • Jessica

    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 it more like 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 it more like 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 wanted more. I felt like it was just getting started. I’m hoping this could be the start of a series. There’s a lot more to 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.

  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    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 queen...and 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 queen...and 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.

  • Emily (Obsessed Reader)

    I very much enjoyed the well-thought out storyline and all of the characters. I was frustrated by the ending, because it was left open and there seems to be no sign of a sequel yet, although I sincerely hope there is one!

    This book was definitely packed with a lot of information, and sometimes I felt just a little bit of boredom creeping in. But overall I really like the book and am eager for more of the story!

  • Tatiana

    A little surprised I haven't heard anyone talk about this graphic novel.

    Although it skews more middle grade than YA (the protagonist seems to be a girl of about ten?),

    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 skews more middle grade than YA (the protagonist seems to be a girl of about ten?),

    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.

  • Nana Spark

    This review is also posted on my blog (

    )

    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 conve

    This review is also posted on my blog (

    )

    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 revealed more and more.

    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.

    -

    -

    -

  • Tucker

    Betrayal, sickness, love and war. Queen of the Sea is a historical fiction graphic novel full of amazing illustrations and a gripping, emotional story.

  • Jade Melody

    I wasn't really sure what to expect from this. I was just browsing my library's website in search for books I could borrow and found this. It was a recently published graphic novel and it seemed interesting enough for me to check it out.

    I wasn't really sure what to expect from this. I was just browsing my library's website in search for books I could borrow and found this. It was a recently published graphic novel and it seemed interesting enough for me to check it out.

    This book ended up being okay, I think I would've been a lot more interested in the story line if it had captured my interest more than it did. The plot was okay but it jumped around a lot and honestly made me super confused. The setting, for the most part, made sense but the characters were just jumbles jumping around in my head; So for the entirety of the novel I wasn't sure who everyone was. I really do hope there is more to the story than how it ended because if there isn't a sequel that makes the book even worse.

    I did really enjoy the art and the historical aspect of it. That is one of the few things that made this enjoyable. That and the references to chess. I really liked how she was taught the game and then connected/referenced it in other aspects of her life. The art was beautiful and everything was drawn out very well, but like I said, it was the jumping around plot and confusing characters that made me not enjoy this.

    If there is a sequel I think I'd read it just to see if this book sets up the other one for something better but who knows.

    I'm not really sure if I'd recommend this to someone who is new to graphic novels like myself, because that also might be part of why I didn't enjoy it as much. Maybe if I was more familiar with graphic novels, I might have enjoyed it more.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.