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. 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.

Queen of the Sea Details

TitleQueen of the Sea
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 25th, 2019
PublisherWalker Books US
ISBN-139781536204988
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Historical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy

Queen of the Sea Review

  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    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
  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    I can't wait to see the finished version in full-color. And I really hope it has a sequel.
  • Queen Cronut *on a short hiatus somewhere over the rainbow*
    January 1, 1970
    A loose historical reimagination of based off of the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary depicted through a graphic novel.The premise sounded really interesting and it exceeded all of my expectations. Although Queen of the Sea is kind of wordy for a graphic novel, it does a superb job weaving the historical context and folklore with the plot. The art is stunning and I liked that the text/dialogue is woven into the story rather than being two discrete aspects of the book.Margaret A loose historical reimagination of based off of the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary depicted through a graphic novel.The premise sounded really interesting and it exceeded all of my expectations. Although Queen of the Sea is kind of wordy for a graphic novel, it does a superb job weaving the historical context and folklore with the plot. The art is stunning and I liked that the text/dialogue is woven into the story rather than being two discrete aspects of the book.Margaret was a worthy protagonist- Dylan Meconis did an excellent job balancing Margaret's naivete and childhood innocence whilst also showing the new views on the world around her as she realizes that life isn't simply black and white. Also, Sister Agnes was my favorite side character.The only thing I wasn't happy with was the ending- it's so abrupt and way too open-ended. I'm hoping for a sequel/companion graphic novel because I'd like answers and perhaps some closure. 7/10 would recommend especially if you enjoy historical fiction.*Thank you to NetGalley and its publishers for providing a free ARC*
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    *thank you to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*4 stars.I really enjoyed this. I didn't think I would as I didn't like the illustrations right at the beginning but they grew on me and actually suited the story. It's a historical retelling of Queen Elisabeth and Queen Mary. I basically had no really knowledge about them so this Graphic Novel was a really good introduction. While it's not all fact, and is only loosely based on the sisters, it's *thank you to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*4 stars.I really enjoyed this. I didn't think I would as I didn't like the illustrations right at the beginning but they grew on me and actually suited the story. It's a historical retelling of Queen Elisabeth and Queen Mary. I basically had no really knowledge about them so this Graphic Novel was a really good introduction. While it's not all fact, and is only loosely based on the sisters, it's still a great read.
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  • C. S.
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at page 45. This is definitely a me-not-you-thing, and I think if I was able to read a physical copy, I would have been able to finish it. While the illustrations were visually engaging (the interplay between text and pictures was interesting) and the story seemed sweet, I had a lot of trouble with the font. I did find the beginning after the prologue to be a bit slow, and my attention wandered a bit during some of the descriptions of life on the island, but if not for the format issues, I w DNF at page 45. This is definitely a me-not-you-thing, and I think if I was able to read a physical copy, I would have been able to finish it. While the illustrations were visually engaging (the interplay between text and pictures was interesting) and the story seemed sweet, I had a lot of trouble with the font. I did find the beginning after the prologue to be a bit slow, and my attention wandered a bit during some of the descriptions of life on the island, but if not for the format issues, I would definitely have been interested in continuing reading.
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  • Emily (Obsessed Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Shannon ✨
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 Stars. *I was provided an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review all throughts are my own* This was such a charming graphic novel and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up loving this. It was so unique and I think it would be perfect for people who are wanting to test out historical fiction or for kids. It has a really cute art style that coincides with the story and has really great explanations told through words and the use of pictures which makes it really easy 3.75 Stars. *I was provided an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review all throughts are my own* This was such a charming graphic novel and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up loving this. It was so unique and I think it would be perfect for people who are wanting to test out historical fiction or for kids. It has a really cute art style that coincides with the story and has really great explanations told through words and the use of pictures which makes it really easy to understand. It’s honestly so charming and I felt all the emotions reading this. I really want another book in this world following these characters because I’ve become attached.
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Candlewick Press. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. It took me like 1/4 of the book to finally figure it out that this was LOOSELY based on Elizabeth and Mary, and not ACTUALLY about Elizabeth and Mary. That was not the book's fault - totally my brain who had become fixated on the premise of them. Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Candlewick Press. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. It took me like 1/4 of the book to finally figure it out that this was LOOSELY based on Elizabeth and Mary, and not ACTUALLY about Elizabeth and Mary. That was not the book's fault - totally my brain who had become fixated on the premise of them. I just kind of stared at it going...but isn't it Elizabeth and not Eleanor??? Yes, brain, it IS, but this author is taking real events and creating fantasy worlds which is all explained in the summary you probably should have reread before doing this. Once I figured that out, it was a lot of fun to pick up the real history and how Meconis would slip it in with just a subtle change. Eleanor = Elizabeth, Edmund = Edward, Franics = most likely Francis Drake, Albion = England. I have to give so much credit to Meconis for making these fun little changes that was had me going OMG, that is creative. The art was really good, too. The book that I had wasn't in color, so I can imagine that it's going to look great with color since it was looking pretty great in greytone and just some brushstrokes. Meconis definitely has a talent for drawing, and looking at the art was definitely my favorite part of the book.The writing was a bit interesting. I don't think I've read a graphic novel with as much writing as there was in this one. I mean, there were a few pages that were just a whole lot of text and like one image. A lot of it was world building too and giving a lot of descriptions. I found myself getting bored with these, and they happened more often than not. Some of them did have cool facts or brought a little bit of cute/funny bits, but others were just kind of snoozy.There were parts that were interesting, but I did feel like a good deal of it was pretty underwhelming. I never really felt the tension, and it did seem like we were just rowing in a boat in circles. I wanted a little more excitement instead of another lesson on something? There was a twist that brought a little more excitement, but then it kind of just dwindled, and I started flipping through pages far faster than I needed to. It ending leads to a possible continuation of the story, but the cute art wasn't enough to make me want to be excited/want to pick up.Overall, the story was a bit more meh than I wanted it to be. There were some fun parts, but they kind of just slipped back into being snoozy. The art was great, though, and Meconis is definitely a great artist. However, it wasn't enough to bring me the full excitement. 2 crowns and a Cinderella rating!
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  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.Queen of the Sea is a graphic novel that is loosely based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I, but set in a setting all its own. Margaret has never known life outside of the isolated island where she lives with a numerous nuns. A ship brings supplies twice a year, and otherwise the only new arrivals are swept in by the sea. The religion-regimented pattern of her life is shaken up by the arrival of another boy her age--and then by the coming of a I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.Queen of the Sea is a graphic novel that is loosely based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I, but set in a setting all its own. Margaret has never known life outside of the isolated island where she lives with a numerous nuns. A ship brings supplies twice a year, and otherwise the only new arrivals are swept in by the sea. The religion-regimented pattern of her life is shaken up by the arrival of another boy her age--and then by the coming of a haughty young woman kept under close guard. What Margaret learns from these new arrivals changes her views of her island and herself, but not her spirit. Indeed, she's a smart, feisty young girl who brims with compassion. She's a fantastic heroine to follow.I enjoyed this graphic novel. It doesn't offer anything earth-shattering but there's a pleasant coziness to the bright, pleasant artwork and the story itself. The target audience is middle grade, but really, this could easily be read by and enjoyed by younger kids as well. As a history geek, I was unsure at first how much loyalty to the era to expect, and soon found that "loosely based" is the best way to look at the book. It still has a strong historical feel, though, as there is no presence of functional magic, just some mention about things like selkies (which made me very happy, as I love selkies).In all, an enjoyable read. I sure would have adored this book at age 10, too.
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  • Kailey (BooksforMKs)
    January 1, 1970
    Margaret was left with an island convent when she was a baby, never knowing her true heritage. When the exiled Queen Eleanor is sent to the island, she befriends Margaret and tries to unravel the secret of the girl's unknown parentage. The nuns of the convent have dark secrets, and the rough life on the island holds many dangers.Margaret is a beautifully complex character. She loves her home on the harsh island, despite the simple life there. She loves the nuns who raised her, and enjoys her wor Margaret was left with an island convent when she was a baby, never knowing her true heritage. When the exiled Queen Eleanor is sent to the island, she befriends Margaret and tries to unravel the secret of the girl's unknown parentage. The nuns of the convent have dark secrets, and the rough life on the island holds many dangers.Margaret is a beautifully complex character. She loves her home on the harsh island, despite the simple life there. She loves the nuns who raised her, and enjoys her work and her lessons. When their simple routine is disrupted by the arrival of Queen Eleanor, Margaret rises to the challenges and welcomes the danger with admirable courage.I found all the supporting characters really interesting and complex too. All the nuns tell the stories of their secret past, and the various people who visit the island have their own stories to tell as well. I loved the intriguing and engaging plot! There are so many secrets to be revealed, and cultural and religious history to be discovered. I was completely immersed in the story.I can't really review the artwork, since the e-file that I received from NetGalley had low-resolution. As far as I can tell, the artwork is good.I was really disappointed in the ending. It ended much too abruptly, and needed an epilogue to explain more of the last events in the story. Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
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  • MayorEmma
    January 1, 1970
    I received an arc of this book from netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I loved this!! Even though they stayed on the same island the entire time, it still managed to be interesting, funny, and the art was simply amazing. My only complaint is that it was really really loosely based on real history, but I didn't see something mentioning it at the front of the book, which would have been nice so that I knew it wasn't like a real thing. It was more like an alternate history. But anyways, I de I received an arc of this book from netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I loved this!! Even though they stayed on the same island the entire time, it still managed to be interesting, funny, and the art was simply amazing. My only complaint is that it was really really loosely based on real history, but I didn't see something mentioning it at the front of the book, which would have been nice so that I knew it wasn't like a real thing. It was more like an alternate history. But anyways, I definitely recommend this book because it is a great addition to MG graphic novels.
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  • Vivienne
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to Candlewick Press/Walker Books US for a digital edition of Dylan Meconis’ ‘Queen of the Sea’ in exchange for an honest review.This was a hybrid graphic novel loosely based on the early life of Queen Elizabeth I and her period of exile when her sister Queen Mary came to the throne. It is an alternative history inspired by this period in English history.It is set on a tiny island off the coast of Albion inhabited only by the nuns of a convent dedicated to St. Elysia. The format of the My thanks to Candlewick Press/Walker Books US for a digital edition of Dylan Meconis’ ‘Queen of the Sea’ in exchange for an honest review.This was a hybrid graphic novel loosely based on the early life of Queen Elizabeth I and her period of exile when her sister Queen Mary came to the throne. It is an alternative history inspired by this period in English history.It is set on a tiny island off the coast of Albion inhabited only by the nuns of a convent dedicated to St. Elysia. The format of the book is journal-like as Margaret, an orphan who had come to the island as an infant, tells her story. Along the way we learn about the community and of the troubles in Albion. How after the death of King Edmund, his youngest daughter, Eleanor, was crowned queen though her elder sister Catherine desired the throne and was plotting to depose her.One day a ship unexpectedly arrives with the news that Catherine is now Queen. In addition, they bring with them Eleanor, who is to be exiled to the island convent. She is accompanied by a severe Reverend Mother of the Lamentine Order and soldiers to guard the former queen.The rest of the book is dedicated to both Margaret and Eleanor and how over time they influence each other. They have adventures and some interesting twists are revealed before its final pages. This is marketed for ages 10-14 though this was no barrier to my enjoyment. Margaret is a very appealing character and her openness makes an interesting contrast to Eleanor, who initially is quite cold and haughty. There was some delightful sea lore contained within the story including selkies and naturally the Queen of the Sea. I loved the focus on the daily lives of the nuns and while a fictional tale it may inspire young readers to explore the history that informs it. Even though there were quite serious themes, there was also plenty of humour.My NetGalley digital edition was low definition so the art work was in black and white rather than the vibrant colours of the final printed edition. However, I was able to gain a sense of the actual artwork from online images. Quite stunning.This was a very entertaining reading experience and I do hope there will be more adventures for Margaret and Eleanor in the future.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    First sentence: A queen does not abandon her people. Premise/plot: Queen of the Sea is a graphic novel loosely inspired by the Tudors. Loosely. The author purposefully did not make it about Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I. Though that would have been an intriguing subject for a graphic novel, that isn't this graphic novel. Queen of the Sea has a young heroine, Margaret, who has lived on an island, Albion, off another island, also Albion. She doesn't know who her father and mother First sentence: A queen does not abandon her people. Premise/plot: Queen of the Sea is a graphic novel loosely inspired by the Tudors. Loosely. The author purposefully did not make it about Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I. Though that would have been an intriguing subject for a graphic novel, that isn't this graphic novel. Queen of the Sea has a young heroine, Margaret, who has lived on an island, Albion, off another island, also Albion. She doesn't know who her father and mother were, or if they are alive or dead. All she knows is life at the convent. But while you might think life at the convent would offer no variety, no excitement, no adventure...well, you'd be mostly right...but not completely. Plenty happens--for better or worse.It is a lovely coming of age novel. My thoughts: I loved it. That's the short version. Did I love it because it's a graphic novel? No. Yes. Maybe. I really, really, really loved the characters and the story. Part of that story is told in the illustrations. So while a novel on the same topic would most likely thrill me just as much, there's a little something special in the illustrations. I loved the characterization. I loved spending time with Margaret, William, Eleanor, Francis, and some of the sisters. Margaret and Eleanor's relationship is complex--rightly so. This one just had depth and substance to it. I loved the story and found it compelling. I read this one in one sitting. It was rough there at the end--it's hard for me to sit still that long--but it was worth it. No bookmark needed. Ha!I would definitely recommend this one. Perhaps not to those that love, love, love graphic novels. I think the appeal is the HISTORY and the WORLD-BUILDING. If you don't love history, if you don't find it fascinating, then I'm not sure that this graphic novel would sweep you up, up, and away. But if you do, this is a treat of a book. So give it a try even if graphic novels aren't quite your cup of tea.
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: I stayed up past my bedtime to read as much of this as I could (about 3/4) because I couldn't put it down, and I would very much love to see a sequel someday.The publisher was kind enough to send me an Early Reviewer's copy via LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on LT.Background:I've been following Dylan Meconis' work for a pretty good while now; not sure how I stumbled across the webcomic form of "Bite Me! A Vampire Farce" but I got myself a physica Summary: I stayed up past my bedtime to read as much of this as I could (about 3/4) because I couldn't put it down, and I would very much love to see a sequel someday.The publisher was kind enough to send me an Early Reviewer's copy via LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on LT.Background:I've been following Dylan Meconis' work for a pretty good while now; not sure how I stumbled across the webcomic form of "Bite Me! A Vampire Farce" but I got myself a physical copy via its Kickstarter in 2012, so definitely a few years. Hell, seeing Kate Beaton's name in the reviews on the back of the gloriously hugemongous hardcover (seriously, 393 pages is B I G) is enough to make my spirits lift.I am not by any means a historian or classicist--my exposure to the classics is pretty much summed up by hanging out with meme lords online to learn about Diogenes bearing a plucked chicken while bawling "Behold, a man!" and a single semester course of Old English taken for my linguistics minor. So I definitely couldn't say whether Naomi Novik is taking extra liberties with the Napoleonic Wars in the Temeraire series, but I do like a good bit of fantasy and/or alternate history.The book:Eleanor reminds me of Ariana in Family Man, mostly due to the facial composition. I adored Margaret no end and empathized with her throughout. "It's an honor plain to lose to a Margaret" might well be my favorite line from the entire thing. I found the story so compelling, I had to finish it within the day in spite of distractions like work and food. ;DThe Old People and the legend of the selkies and even the Queen of the Sea were delightful additions that fleshed out life on the island and helped firmly place me in Margaret's world.Should Dylan Meconis choose to continue the alternate history in this world, I'm on board.
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  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    Margaret has spent her entire life on the same island with only a dozen other people. The island holds a convent for nuns of the Elysian order, women who pray to St. Elysia for safe passage over sea and rescue victims of shipwrecks. But circumstances may not be as they seem. Suddenly the ship that brings them supplies has begun to bring people. First William and his mother, until they are taken away, and then a regal woman named Eleanor, accompanied by guards and a cold overseer. As it turns out Margaret has spent her entire life on the same island with only a dozen other people. The island holds a convent for nuns of the Elysian order, women who pray to St. Elysia for safe passage over sea and rescue victims of shipwrecks. But circumstances may not be as they seem. Suddenly the ship that brings them supplies has begun to bring people. First William and his mother, until they are taken away, and then a regal woman named Eleanor, accompanied by guards and a cold overseer. As it turns out, Eleanor used to be queen, until her sister seized the throne. Now she has been banished to the tiny island off he coast of Albion (England). As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, her world is turned upside down as she grapples with new knowledge of the island's true purpose as well as the truth of her past. When Eleanor's life is threatened by the arrival of a stranger, Margaret must make a choice between helping Eleanor and her cause or protecting herself.This book is supposed to be based off the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary but it is not very similar at all. Furthermore, the author chose to refer to England as Albion, which was used until the 4th century and never since, which can be very confusing for someone not currently taking European history. This book may be YA, but it is written for much younger children, perhaps middle school or lower. It almost talks down to the reader with some of its explanations and stories. And the protagonist is less than 12 years old. I did not enjoy the book very much because of the characters, I felt nothing for them. I couldn't really care less what happened to them. This would be a good graphic novel for young middle schoolers, but not for teens.
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  • Rosemary
    January 1, 1970
    Inspired by Queen Elizabeth's exile when her sister Mary I ascended the throne, Queen of the Sea begins with the banishment of Queen Eleanor, a young monarch of an embattled kingdom, to an island where nuns live, pray, garden, and sew. Margaret is a young girl who has spent her entire life on the island in the care of the nuns and finds herself drawn to Eleanor. Margaret learns about the island and the reasons behind her presence there, and quietly begins planning with Eleanor and a mysterious m Inspired by Queen Elizabeth's exile when her sister Mary I ascended the throne, Queen of the Sea begins with the banishment of Queen Eleanor, a young monarch of an embattled kingdom, to an island where nuns live, pray, garden, and sew. Margaret is a young girl who has spent her entire life on the island in the care of the nuns and finds herself drawn to Eleanor. Margaret learns about the island and the reasons behind her presence there, and quietly begins planning with Eleanor and a mysterious man who washes up on the island one stormy night.Queen of the Sea is gorgeously created historical fiction with fully realized characters and a solidly constructed plot filled with intrigue; revelations; world-building, even light romance. Dylan Meconis' pen, ink, and gouache artwork will appeal to Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson fans; the characters are softly realistic with period costuming and soothing earth and sea colors. I particularly love the back-and-forth between present moment storytelling and Margaret's narration of history and myth, rendered to appear as stone or stained glass. The character growth is a joy to witness: Eleanor, from a taciturn exile to an embattled young woman embracing her feelings, and Margaret, a naïve child to a young woman coming into herself and her own intelligence make this a wonderful read. An author's note discusses Elizabeth I's inspiration of Eleanor. Graphic novel gold.Queen of the Sea has starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal. You can read an excerpt at Candlewick's website.
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  • Paisley Green
    January 1, 1970
    A loose work of historical fiction, Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis tells the story of Margaret, a 12-year-old girl who's being raised by nuns of the Elysian order on a tiny, tiny island near the fictional nation of Albion (i.e., England). After a series of events, a mysterious woman named Eleanor is brought to the island with a retinue of guards. Margaret spends time with Eleanor to learn more about who she is, and in turn, learns about herself. This graphic novel was so lush; 400 pages zoome A loose work of historical fiction, Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis tells the story of Margaret, a 12-year-old girl who's being raised by nuns of the Elysian order on a tiny, tiny island near the fictional nation of Albion (i.e., England). After a series of events, a mysterious woman named Eleanor is brought to the island with a retinue of guards. Margaret spends time with Eleanor to learn more about who she is, and in turn, learns about herself. This graphic novel was so lush; 400 pages zoomed by for me. The lettering and art style is gorgeous, and the story incorporates lots of fascinating reworkings of Tudor England and bits of daily life in the 16th century. The protagonist, Margaret, is engaging and complex, and while the writing clearly reflects a 12-year-old's understanding of the world, it never feels too simplistic. The art style for most of the book is this gorgeous watercolor style, but at times it switches to medieval-style illustration or even child's scribbles, according to changes in the narrative. My only gripe with the book is that it ended too abruptly. It felt like Book 1 of a longer series (which I hope it ends up being!), and I wanted more. Definitely pick up a copy![Thanks to NetGalley, who provided an eARC in exchange for an honest review.]
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  • Miz Lizzie
    January 1, 1970
    Though the cover blurb of being "loosely based not he youth of Queen Elizabeth I" is misleading, this is a beautiful and enjoyable start to what is clearly intended to be a series of a historical -- but not real history -- fantasy -- but no magic and set in the otherwise recognizable real world. In other words, this is a completely made up story set in recognizably Medieval times. Margaret is an orphan being brought up in a tiny island convent in Albion when a haughty and mysterious guest/prison Though the cover blurb of being "loosely based not he youth of Queen Elizabeth I" is misleading, this is a beautiful and enjoyable start to what is clearly intended to be a series of a historical -- but not real history -- fantasy -- but no magic and set in the otherwise recognizable real world. In other words, this is a completely made up story set in recognizably Medieval times. Margaret is an orphan being brought up in a tiny island convent in Albion when a haughty and mysterious guest/prisoner is brought there for safekeeping. Margaret soon finds herself swept up in royal intrigue and secrets and comes to question everything she thought she knew. Though the artwork was not finished in the galley I read, it a simple clear style that I particularly appreciate and the full color samples were highly appealing. I particularly enjoyed the asides Margaret makes to explain convent life, chess, St. Elysia, the island, etc. If I hadn't been set up to be expecting the appearance of Queen Elizabeth or direct parallels to actual history, I would have enjoyed my reading experience more. Also, the greyhounds that appear in the opening pages (causing me to initially pick up the book) are promptly left behind and forgotten (sigh). Book Pairings:Though not about Queen Elizabeth, this could be paired well with actual histories/biographies of the Elizabethan era.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    A stunningly beautiful graphic story loosely based on the history of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. While it fun to notice the parallels, it isn't necessary to know the history as Meconis creates her own richly immersive story full of period details, evocative characters and vivid setting. The main protagonist, Margaret, an orphaned child who came to the island surrounded in mystery, is instantly endearing and readers experience the unfolding events along with her.Meconis' illustrations ar A stunningly beautiful graphic story loosely based on the history of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. While it fun to notice the parallels, it isn't necessary to know the history as Meconis creates her own richly immersive story full of period details, evocative characters and vivid setting. The main protagonist, Margaret, an orphaned child who came to the island surrounded in mystery, is instantly endearing and readers experience the unfolding events along with her.Meconis' illustrations are gorgeous but they are also a brilliant part of the storytelling. Each panel has its own part to play in carrying the tale forward, providing important details and developing the characters. This is a visual treat but it is also masterful graphic storytelling.I read this over several days, wanting to read it slowly and savor it and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. I was eager to get back to it and reluctant to set it aside. I loved the characters, the warmly human touches of humor, the historical feel, the fascinating political intrigue and the feel of an illuminated manuscript. Outstanding book design adds to all these masterfully done elements to make this an imaginative and immersive reading experience.
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  • Lenoire
    January 1, 1970
    Queen Eleanor of Albion is exiled to a small coastal island when her sister seizes the throne from her. The only inhabitants of the islands are nuns of a convent who spend their days peacefully trying to survive. However, the island is home to a mysterious orphan named Margaret. Margaret's life is turned upside down when the new visitor arrives.As time passes, Eleanor and Margaret grow closer until Margaret finds out about the true purpose of the island and the truth of her own past. When Eleano Queen Eleanor of Albion is exiled to a small coastal island when her sister seizes the throne from her. The only inhabitants of the islands are nuns of a convent who spend their days peacefully trying to survive. However, the island is home to a mysterious orphan named Margaret. Margaret's life is turned upside down when the new visitor arrives.As time passes, Eleanor and Margaret grow closer until Margaret finds out about the true purpose of the island and the truth of her own past. When Eleanor's safety is threatened, Margaret is faced with helping Eleanor or protecting herself. Will Margaret help Eleanor if it means risking her own life?The beautifully drawn novel is a fictionalized history of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. I found the book to be an entertaining read but, I was a bit disappointed that the novel left off on a cliffhanger. I felt that the book had a lot of filler and could have fit more of the story. However, I am looking forward to reading the continuation of the series.
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  • Ea
    January 1, 1970
    Loosely (very, very loosely) based on Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary, Queen of the Sea brings us the utter joy that is Margaret, a young girl who has grown up on an island convent, raised by nuns and surrounded by water. It says a lot about her life that the most thrilling thing that happens to her is when the ship that brings supplies twice a year shows up with first a young boy her own age, a quick and true friend, and later a mysterious lady. This mysterious lady is Eleanor, an exiled queen Loosely (very, very loosely) based on Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary, Queen of the Sea brings us the utter joy that is Margaret, a young girl who has grown up on an island convent, raised by nuns and surrounded by water. It says a lot about her life that the most thrilling thing that happens to her is when the ship that brings supplies twice a year shows up with first a young boy her own age, a quick and true friend, and later a mysterious lady. This mysterious lady is Eleanor, an exiled queen whose sister has taken the throne and shoved Eleanor off to the far away island in a very out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of way. Margaret takes a shine to Eleanor, despite her being stand-offish and not particularly kind towards Margaret, but they soon realise that they need each other in order to get what they want. Thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the illustrations of Queen of the Sea. I was less thrilled about the chosen font, but I'm reasonably certain it's easier to read in actual physical book-form, compared to a small screen as I did. Definitely not something that should detract anyone from picking this up. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    I read an ARC, so I haven't seen the finished art (no colors, and only about the first half of the book had shading) but what I did get to see was absolutely charming! I was dubious about a fictionalized story about Elizabeth I would play out for the Raina Telgemeier crowd but the protagonist of Queen of the Sea carries the book along; court intrigues are relevant because the reader can see how they affect Margaret and the people she loves, even at a distance. My vague conception of Tudor histor I read an ARC, so I haven't seen the finished art (no colors, and only about the first half of the book had shading) but what I did get to see was absolutely charming! I was dubious about a fictionalized story about Elizabeth I would play out for the Raina Telgemeier crowd but the protagonist of Queen of the Sea carries the book along; court intrigues are relevant because the reader can see how they affect Margaret and the people she loves, even at a distance. My vague conception of Tudor history did make things a little confusing for me at times because I couldn't tell what was supposed to be a direct adaptation of something that really happened and what was made up -- I would have liked an afterword that separated fact from fiction. But overall I think it's a great story that might get some children interested in a part of history that might not have felt relevant to them otherwise.
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  • Sav
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.I've always been fascinated by British royal history, so when I came across this graphic novel I had to read it. It's a story inspired by Queen Elizabeth I's exile during her sister Queen Mary's reign. The author is quick to point out that this is not a history book and the characters and the plot that unfolds are all fictional. It's probably a testament to how much I enjoyed this story becau Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.I've always been fascinated by British royal history, so when I came across this graphic novel I had to read it. It's a story inspired by Queen Elizabeth I's exile during her sister Queen Mary's reign. The author is quick to point out that this is not a history book and the characters and the plot that unfolds are all fictional. It's probably a testament to how much I enjoyed this story because now I actually wish this was history! I also really liked the art style and the presentation of the story; it's a mashup of traditional panel based graphics and picture book style storytelling. I read an ARC so the illustrations are not the high resolution ones we will find in the final published version, but I can imagine it's going to look absolutely lovely.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Stealing bits and pieces from real life, Queen of the Sea tells the story of Margaret, a young orphan who lives on an island with a convent of nuns. She has no memory of her parents and has only known life with the sisters. After her only friend, a young boy, is taken away, Margaret starts to understand a little more about the politics going on in the nearby kingdom. As unrest enfolds in Albion, Margaret's quiet life on the island is disrupted by the newly ousted queen, Eleanor. Margaret and Ele Stealing bits and pieces from real life, Queen of the Sea tells the story of Margaret, a young orphan who lives on an island with a convent of nuns. She has no memory of her parents and has only known life with the sisters. After her only friend, a young boy, is taken away, Margaret starts to understand a little more about the politics going on in the nearby kingdom. As unrest enfolds in Albion, Margaret's quiet life on the island is disrupted by the newly ousted queen, Eleanor. Margaret and Eleanor start at odds with each other, but eventually realize there is more connecting them.This was a great historical fiction graphic novel for middle grade readers. It has a strong sense of place and is greatly detailed. Margaret was a fierce heroine and I can't wait to read more of her and Eleanor's story.Highly recommended.**I received an e-ARC from Netgalley**
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  • Aud
    January 1, 1970
    This ARC was sent to my library by the publisher, so I haven’t seen the finished art. I think that this was wonderfully done. The details of living in a medieval monastery were delivered in a fun way without feeling like an info dump. Margaret is a believably naive but clever little girl, and the other characters feel real, too. I love how we learn more backstory on the nuns as the book progresses. I also appreciate how prickly Eleanor is, because that also felt authentic to her situation. I onl This ARC was sent to my library by the publisher, so I haven’t seen the finished art. I think that this was wonderfully done. The details of living in a medieval monastery were delivered in a fun way without feeling like an info dump. Margaret is a believably naive but clever little girl, and the other characters feel real, too. I love how we learn more backstory on the nuns as the book progresses. I also appreciate how prickly Eleanor is, because that also felt authentic to her situation. I only regret that I didn’t get to see the completed art or colors. As a medieval history major, this one has a special place in my heart for all the little things done right, with a great story to boot! And the fonts were perfect.
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    Margaret lives at a convent on an island. Her only companions are the nuns until William and his mother arrive. They are exiled from the mainland because of his father's politics. Turns out the island is actually a political prison for those who go against the crown but who's crimes are not bad enough to be executed for or sent to a real prison. All the nuns are prisoners as well. This all comes to a head when Eleanor, the exiled queen, comes to the island. Margaret and Eleanor discover they hav Margaret lives at a convent on an island. Her only companions are the nuns until William and his mother arrive. They are exiled from the mainland because of his father's politics. Turns out the island is actually a political prison for those who go against the crown but who's crimes are not bad enough to be executed for or sent to a real prison. All the nuns are prisoners as well. This all comes to a head when Eleanor, the exiled queen, comes to the island. Margaret and Eleanor discover they have a lot in common and get to know each other. In the end surprising secrets are revealed. I really enjoyed this alternative history of Queens Mary and Elizabeth. I loved the island setting and the character of Margaret. The island itself was fascinating with its remains of ancient peoples and the backstory of the convent and the nuns. I read an ARC of the book so I didn't get full color illustrations but the pencil drawings looked beautiful.
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  • Nicole Zamudio
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars The artwork was very nice overall and I liked the concept of the story. The introduction was gripping and set up the suspense for what was to come next perfectly. However, this feeling died down afterwards when I started running into the paragraphs of set up. There were times when the graphic novel told/explained details about the story that could have been revealed in the story itself. It seemed to defeat the purpose of a graphic novel since these pages had more text than art on them. 3.5 Stars The artwork was very nice overall and I liked the concept of the story. The introduction was gripping and set up the suspense for what was to come next perfectly. However, this feeling died down afterwards when I started running into the paragraphs of set up. There were times when the graphic novel told/explained details about the story that could have been revealed in the story itself. It seemed to defeat the purpose of a graphic novel since these pages had more text than art on them. I’ve never read a graphic novel in this style before but, for me, that part stood out too much and was a distraction. I have received an ARC of this graphic novel on Netgalley for an honest review. Thank you Candlewick Press for the opportunity!
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