Queen of the Sea

  • Type: Books
  • By: Dylan Meconis
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: Graphic Novels
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781536204988
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A richly imagined reboot of Tudor England

The tiny island where she has grown up is the only world preteen Margaret has ever known.  Raised  by a handful of nuns and their domestic servants – the island’s only inhabitants – Margaret is mostly happy with her life and intends to become a nun herself.  But when a prickly, red-haired noblewoman named Eleanor and her entourage arrive on the island, Margaret becomes entangled in a dangerous web of dynastic power politics with the throne of “Albion” (a thinly disguised England) up for grabs.

One of the great things about this book is the respect its author/illustrator shows for the characters and their culture.  Margaret, like most modern tweens, isn’t always happy to do her chores and lessons, and wonders about life in the outside world.  But she’s not a twenty-first century girl in a bonnet.  She accepts the notion of a rigid social hierarchy with a monarch at the top of the social pyramid, and readily engages in prayer and religious practices without a hint of irony.  Likewise, most of the nuns, though driven to “take the veil” for political reasons, do their best to be holy women.  (Though one nun, who arrives with Eleanor, is a stark reminder that not all people who entered religious life were concerned with holiness.)   And Eleanor herself, who eventually becomes a sympathetic character, is hot-tempered, bossy, and generally unconcerned with the feelings of others.  She’s an aristocrat and never lets anyone forget it.

Lovely and accessible artwork combined with a genuine historical sensibility make for a superbly entertaining story.