Review: The Daughters of Ys

An Atlantis-like city from Celtic legend is the setting of this mythical graphic novel fantasy from National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and artist Jo Rioux.

Ys, city of wealth and wonder, has a history of dark secrets. Queen Malgven used magic to raise the great walls that keep Ys safe from the tumultuous sea. But after the queen’s inexplicable death, her daughters drift apart. Rozenn, the heir to the throne, spends her time on the moors communing with wild animals, while Dahut, the youngest, enjoys the splendors of royal life and is eager to take part in palace intrigue.

When Rozenn and Dahut’s bond is irrevocably changed, the fate of Ys is sealed, exposing the monsters that lurk in plain view. M. T. Anderson and Jo Rioux reimagine this classic Breton folktale of love, loss, and rebirth, revealing the secrets that lie beneath the surface.

I had never heard of or read the folktale this graphic novel was based on, but I was instantly intrigued when I read the description of the story. It’s a tale of how people can change depending on what they consider important. It also examines themes such as power, good and evil and family connections.

The art style was simple and more rustic, but it fit the theme and setting of the story perfectly. It definitely gave it the feel of the time period and the seaside setting. You could definitely see the influence of the original folktale and the time period that it came from.

All in all this is an enchanting tale that provides more than one good morality lesson woven into it.

Happy reading!

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