by Gene Luen Yang

Reviewer Rating:


Pair this with Boxers by the same author.

These graphic novels reflect the two sides of the Boxer Rebellion in China. The parallel plots are key to Yang’s commentary on the war. Both sides felt righteous and neither was any better than the other. As a commentary on war, Yang succeeds in making his point vividly and never softens the deaths inherent to the rebellion. Characters at the center of the story are human and have flaws, but Yang doesn't spare them from the horrors of war. Not for the faint of heart, the graphic nature of the depiction gives an impact beyond what is usual in text. The comparisons in Saints to Joan of Arc and the conversations between Four-Girl (or Vibiana, as she is later chooses to be called) and Saint Joan make events more relevant for western readers who may not be familiar with historical events. 


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