As we tend to read quite a few graphic novels but don’t want to do a full post for each one of them we decided to do weekly mini reviews to sum up the ones we’ve read recently and hopefully get more people interested in this fascinating genre. We’ve noticed that graphic novels go quite unnoticed in the book blogging community but some of them are phenomenal and deserve to be shared. Just as audio books can be an acquired reading format, so too are graphic novels.
We hope to share some of our thoughts and favourite reads with you in the hopes that it inspires more people to try this genre!
La Princesse de Cleves – Written in 1678 by Madame de Lafayette, ‘The Princess of Cleves’ is a founding novel. The young Miss de La Marche took her first steps in the court of the King of France, Henry II. Between cabals, gossip and gallantry, she meets love in a world full of conventions. By returning to her advantage the stereotyped feminine ideals of the time (solitude, silence, secrecy, restraint, decency and discretion), the princess exhibits a new form of feminism, based on self-esteem where reason triumphs over passion.
☆ ☆ ☆
As someone unfamiliar with the original Princess of Cleves written by Madame de Lafayette, the introduction to this graphic novel was intense. There was a lot of information provided that was essential in understanding complex dynamics between characters. Luckily, a family tree is provided. Unluckily, I received an eARC (which I usually don’t mind) but it made going back and forth to the family tree quite cumbersome. If you’re familiar with the story however, it may not be an issue for you. Nevertheless, once I was able to get my head around all of the socialites and their family trees, the story was quite interesting!
I found myself becoming invested in the uncertain future of La Princesse de Cleves. The premise perfectly outlines the unusual feminist stance taken in this story. I can’t quite say I was in approval of it but I’m not living during the time period. In terms of meeting historical romantic conventions of the time, this story definitely achieved that. I was so intrigued by the Princess of Cleve’s choices. Her refusal to be with the man she loved, and whom loved her back, was definitely not what I had been expecting! I’m a HEA kind gal.
The side characters were also quite enjoyable and the graphics themselves were delectably embellished with small details that perfectly set the scene in the time period. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, literature or are just keen to try something new then I’d recommend you try this!
ARC provided by Darguard via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Tamba Child Soldier – “My name is Tamba Cisso. When I was eight years old, I lived in the village with my father, my mother and my sister. I went to school and had learned to read. I knew there was war in my country, but I didn’t know that children could wage it.” Providing a testimonial to one of the most heart-wrenching and chilling developments in modern warfare, this graphic novel chronicles the realities of hundreds of thousands across the world, kidnapped and forced to commit atrocities.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Wow. This book was hauntingly honest and completely stole my breath. The horrors that happen for the sake of greed, power and money are unimaginable. Except, this novel attempts to shed light on the deplorable acts children are forced to commit daily around the world. This novel forced me to imagine what that living hell would be like. I was utterly heart-broken and yet in awe. The graphics in this novel were some of the best I’d seen. The vivid colours and striking scenes almost pulled me out of the story they were so good!
What really made this book stand out from the crowd was the emphasis it placed on the rehabilitation and healing process of the people when the war ended. While kidnapping and forcing children to fight a war they don’t understand is unimaginably harsh, the after-effects of the war were arguably as bad. You’d expect freedom and peace with the cessation of fire. Instead, a land was left torn from the destruction its own people had caused. Children were murderers and seen as the perpetrators of extensive human rights violations. How does a country come back from that? How is peace attained? And who is ultimately responsible for the horrors committed?
This depiction of an attempt to create peace after shockingly vile and destructive events was poignantly written and tore apart my heart. It was so authentic and achingly real. I loved the inclusion of the author’s own history that had inspired this novel. This is one I would recommend everyone (who is aware of the triggers) to read!
ARC provided by NBM Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.