Book review: Yvain: The Knight of the Lion, M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Andrea Offermann

Anderson, M.T. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion. Illus. by Andrea Offermann. Candlewick, 2017. $19.99. 133p. ISBN 978-0-7636-5939-4. Ages 11-15. P7Q7

Cretien de Troyes’ 12th-century epic romance, when England ruled much of contemporary France, is the basis for this graphic novel about Sir Yvain, a knight in King Arthur’s Court. During one of his adventures, he kills the husband of the royal Laudine in the magical forest of Broceliande, and is almost executed until the woman’s maid, Lunette, saves his life. The adventure of the book continues as Yvain deserts his lady love for years while saving the life of a lion that helps him save people from monsters and villains. The author’s note explains that Anderson’s source uses ancient Celtic tales with references to the Holy Grail and Sir Lancelot’s love for Lady Guinevere to flesh out the story, and the illustrator’s note discusses castle architecture and clothing/armor design.

Verdict: The illustrations depict thrilling adventures, but the faces in the graphics are not appealing. In addition, the plot shows a remarkable lack of faithfulness on the part of Yvain as he continually tricks Laudine into not destroying him.

April 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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