Friday, October 26, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: Hera The Goddess and her Glory & The Last Dragon

On top of my regular fiction reading, I've been feasting on graphic novels too. As a high school librarian servicing reading guidance to young adults, reading the literature available for them is part of the job. How fun!

Here are two reviews of graphic novels that may be of interest to the teenager in search of a good read this long term break.

Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory
By George O’Connor
First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook)
ISBN: 978-1596437241

George O'Connor's the Olympians' series is a must read. The library has Zeus, the first book in the series, and my review of it can be read here. Having read the second one, Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory makes me look forward to reading the next, which is Poseidon. I wonder what new discoveries would I encounter from O' Connor's version of Poseidon's life story. This is O' Connor's strength as a storyteller. He is able to fuse together a new story from the old classics.

In Hera, O' Connor depicted her as the wife Zeus truly deserves. When she agreed to marry Zeus, she knew what she was getting into and so, she was prepared to attack,  counter and handle every philandering act her husband committed. In my eyes, she is no longer the mere jealous wife who acted on anger and resentment. She is the smart, sophisticated and wise woman worthy to be Olympus' queen.

Much of what Heracles is today in myth and legend, is to Hera's credit. She's a winner in more ways than one as she was able to bring out the best in Heracles despite her intense emotions of jealousy and anger. I liked the ending too because Hera is the only Greek goddess who can make Zeus doubtful and suspicious. The King of the Gods has an insecurity, after all.

Photo source:

The Last Dragon
By Jane Yolen and illustrations by Rebecca Guay
Published by Dark Horse Books
ISBN: 978-1595827982

The dragons are back! After years of living safely from the terror of dragons, a seaside village comes face to face with the fire breathing demon of legends. Two unlikely heroes,  a daughter of a herbalist and a village truant saved the day by simply trusting on each others wits and wisdom. Tansy, the female lead character shines as the woman behind her man's success. Guay's illustrations are rich in color and detail. She used sepia, brown, red and orange as prevailing colors that evoke a legendary and fiery atmosphere to the whole story.

Yolen worked on the old formula of the happily every after. Dragons be gone. Dragons are back. People are terrified. A maiden pursues the truth. A flawed hero is put to the test. They fall in love. They slayed the dragon. The end. But. But. But.

Yolen's narration is true to form in the fantasy tradition. Her use of language fits beautifully to the genre. Her plot is tight and no loose ends dangle in the sides. She knows her young adult readers well enough by creating characters that complement each other. This romance story is not for fools and the foolish. In The Last Dragon, we find a smart and sensitive young woman paired with a challenged hero who rose to the occasion.

Photo source:

Four bookmarks out of five for these two graphic novels!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...