The Daughters of Ys by M.T. Anderson & Jo Rioux
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: August 11th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Dark, Magic, Retelling, Siblings
This was a much darker tale than I anticipated, both in atmosphere and content. It is not a story I recommend if you are looking for something to uplift your spirits but it is one I dare push you towards if you want to read something different, something that will shock you and maybe even repulse you while simultaneously intriguing you.
Rozenn and Dahut are two royal daughters, born to a queen who controlled magic and a king whose life the queen saved and to whom he repaid a great and dark favour. The beginning is actually rather strange, sudden and hypnotic. Throughout the story, there is much that is not explained, especially regarding the magic, but the beginning specifically is oh so curious.
This is a story that you read because regardless of the fact that it is a hard story to fathom, its atmosphere is so strong and its characters have such a strong presence that you cannot help but become hooked. The writer chose to include as little description as possible. This does mean that, as mentioned, there is a lack of explanation about some things, but also that the plot moves fast and is at a least a little… addictive.
Rozenn is the only likeable strong presence in the story. The other characters are not there for you to connect with, but rather because the course of events requires their presence. The enigmatic world of Ys requires their presence. I sure would have been happy to see them disappear one by one. Some do. Not everyone survives. And despite their immoral actions, there is one character in particular whose fate was much darker than deserved. Let’s just say that while this graphic novel will not give me nightmares, a movie adaptation of it certainly would.
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