Squire by Sara Alfageeh & Nadia Shammas
All her life, Azia has dreamed of being a knight of the Bayt-Sajji Empire. Never mind the empire is not as great as it once was, or that she is a member of the Ornu people, who have been turned into scapegoats for the Empire’s woes. Azia is going to do be a hero.
But when she joins the other recruits, she discovers that being a hero is not necessarily what she had thought…and that there are many layers of complicity within an empire.
No more orcs. No Chosen One. Just people learning how to unlearn the justifications of colonialism and finding their way.
Ooooooh I really liked this one.
The artwork was fantastic. The storyline was tight (although I wanted more), and I liked the cast of characters. I did want more background on the empire and the world and the rest of the peoples making up the world, but I understand why the authors didn’t go into as much detail—there was a lot to get through and what they portrayed was enough to get the point across.
There is so much joy here, even amid the suffering and hardship, and I had so much fun following Azia as she bounced and leapt and fought her way through training—and beyond.
And the commentary on colonialism, empire and complicity was also very well done.
Overall, a solid graphic novel, and I’m not just saying it because there were girls with swords trying to be knights!
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
Squire releases March 8, 2022, from Quill Tree Books