Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson


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Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Author: M.T. Anderson
Illustrator: Andrea Offermann
Genre: Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Pages: 144

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Eager for glory and heedless of others, Sir Yvain sets out from King Arthur’s court and defeats a local lord in battle, unknowingly intertwining his future with the lives of two compelling women: Lady Laudine, the beautiful widow of the fallen lord, and her sly maid Lunette. In a stunning visual interpretation of a 12th century epic poem by Chrétien de Troyes, readers are — at first glance — transported into a classic Arthurian romance complete with errant knights, plundering giants, and fire-breathing dragons. A closer look, however, reveals a world rich with unspoken emotion. Striking, evocative art by Andrea Offermann sheds light upon the inner lives of medieval women and the consequences Yvain’s oblivious actions have upon Laudine and Lunette. Renowned author M. T. Anderson embraces a new form with a sophisticated graphic novel that challenges Yvain’s role as hero, delves into the honesty and anguish of love, and asks just how fundamentally the true self can really change.

Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

REVIEW: This sadly is just a work of fiction, another graphic novel to me, because I know almost nothing about Sir Yvain or any stories having to do with him. King Arthur I know a little about. As of recently, just purchased a book to learn more about that era. But that is the extent of my knowledge on anything from the Arthurian times and legends.

For my taste, it was not something that really caught my eye, even with the visuals. I felt the love story placed in here was way too quick, even for romance novels this seemed extremely over the top. I understand that things move along pretty rapidly in graphic novels, but it just didn’t work for me. I did not enjoy that it seemed the women were either acutely overbearing or absolutely in need of being favored. As well as twisting things to play to their whim.

I was intrigued though by Sir Yvain and whether or not he truly was misunderstood or only  playing the victim to get his way. Back to the love story part of this, where does he get the deeply rooted feelings for the Lady of the house? One minute it’s all about her beauty and being the best for her, without ever actually knowing her, and then he’s madly and deeply in love with her. He’s gone for a little over a year, and somehow he comes back devastated by her shunning and ready to die for her.

Even though I didn’t quite enjoy those parts of the tale, I did like the determination he had, his perseverance, and his just way of being, even if it all might have been an act. It added something more to Yvain’s story and kept me reading a little more. But that was about the extent of my enjoyment with this novel. I might have liked the romance in this book if there had been more to it, or if it wasn’t so unbelievable it just didn’t work.

I genuinely hoped to be pleased with this novel more for where it was coming from, but I simply couldn’t. But there were parts that had tons of potential, where the love could have thrived more. With more time, more pages. Maybe if this had been written as a full novel instead of a graphic novel. I actually liked the concept of it, I think that it would be much more entertaining and a memorable love story if made into an expanded and detailed story. And more time for the characters to grow on us.

***I received this copy from Candlewick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

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