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Boxers & Saints: Boxers (Boxers & Saints #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,644 Ratings  ·  1,172 Reviews
China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers - commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from "foreign devils."

Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But noth
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Turtleback Books
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Ian Young You should try to read them in order. Saints would be perfectly comprehensible if read first, but there's some beautiful interplay between the two,…moreYou should try to read them in order. Saints would be perfectly comprehensible if read first, but there's some beautiful interplay between the two, and the meta-narrative definitely flows best if they are read in order.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Raeleen Lemay
Apr 25, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, graphicomanga
this was a very very interesting read
Jubilation Lee
Well, kids, if you ever thought to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if the history books have lied to me, and the Boxer Rebellion was actually super successful and amazing?!” here is the book to remind you that no, the Boxer Rebellion totally sucked.

For everyone.

Except maybe the Germans.

Luckily for us, Gene Luen Yang is amazing at detailing exactly why everything sucked, which makes for an interesting (albeit horrifying) read.

George Lynch, a journalist at the time, wrote about the Boxer Rebellion that “
Jan Philipzig
Centered around the experiences of a Chinese peasant boy whose village has been plundered and abused by Westerners, Boxers combines historical fiction with magical realism to tell the violent story of China's struggle against colonialism around the year 1900. It is Gene Luen Yang's first graphic novel to be set in China, though it deals with themes that have always dominated Yang's writing: the relationship between Chinese and Western culture, religion, the supernatural, youth, identity formatio ...more
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Read review on Wordpress
Historical-fiction and comics? Sing me the hell up! Myth and legend alongside Christian and polytheistic religion? Sign me the hell hell up! Well, I was signed up, and ended up with tears down my face and a closed fist hitting my pillow out of anger.

Boxers and Saints are two volumes based at the time of the Boxer Rebellion, an anti-imperialistic uprising from 1899 and lasting until 1901. It is told through the eyes of Little Bao, a teen with a desire for a free China from
First Second Books
Sep 24, 2013 First Second Books marked it as first-second-publications  ·  review of another edition
I've got to be honest: my favorite panel of this entire book is one of the ones from the beginning -- where Little Bao imagines marrying Vibiana (the opera-masked girl) and having lots of opera-masked sons.

I think it is adorable! And also hilarious.
Steph Sinclair
I don’t know what I was expecting when I first started reading Boxers, but it certainly wasn’t a war. That may give you pause, but I went into this one blind. I didn’t read the synopsis and had only seen a few of the illustrations at the BEA last year before deciding I wanted to read it. Overall, it was eye-opening and violent. I enjoyed the way Yang told a historical story with fantasy elements and was impressed with the amount of detail. I also liked how religion itself was handled. It plays a ...more
Wyatt Packard
How Gene Luen Yang approached this subject is amazing and I give him so much credit as an author and creator. I have read so very few historical graphic novels and it was so refreshing to see Yang paint a historical event, The Boxer Rebellion, in a more character and motivational driven light. To be fair, I knew very little about the Boxer Rebellion prior to my reading Boxers & Saints, but after a bit of research motivated by the author's books I found that Yang's books are both entirely acc ...more
At times funny, at other times heart-breaking, but always wonderful. I had never even heard of the Boxer Rebellion until it came up in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode when I was in my 20's. It's a part of history that we just don't talk about in America (I guess because it was a war we didn't fight), and don't know much about. This is an interesting look at one side of it, and there's a companion book, SAINTS, that covers the other side of this conflict between the newly baptized Christians a ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading gobs of praise for this, I broke down and ordered a copy for kindle rather than wait until my next visit to the US to pick up a paper copy, and I am delighted that I was not disappointed. While it is not perfect in every detail (subtleness is sometimes lacking), this graphic novel is saturated with something I can only call resonance. One feels there is something behind this book, compelling it into existence. This quality is most apparent in the way Yang depicts the mystical exper ...more
Dec 27, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Ignore the sociopaths that flock to the cause, and the brutal men that feel it is their calling to do violence no matter the time or cause and ask yourself: Why do men commit such atrocities as they do, time and again? This book answers, surprisingly well, that question.

The story of Little Bao follows him from a child determined to do right in the world, a commitment to justice and peace, and we see how this path logically, and horrifically, leads him to locking a group of women and children in
Jan 20, 2014 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so impressed that this author was able to take a dreadful time in China's history and make it absorbing and accessible to everyone else with the two books that explain this time period from different viewpoints. Some of the humor was more 21st than 19th century but I imagine that this might appeal to a younger audience, hooking them into wanting to learn more about the Boxer Rebellion.

And I really appreciated how he demonstrated that war based on cultural differences coming from misunderstan
I loved this graphic novel! It has taught me so much about the Boxer Uprising and the Chinese culture of which I, unfortunately, don't know much about. I'm definitely going to do some more reading on these topics and that all thanks to this beautiful, beautiful book. I love these kinds of books which make me feel like I have gained something by reading them.
Jan 16, 2016 Cherrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gene Yang does an amazing job putting faces and heart-wrenching stories behind the people who led and fought on the Boxer side of the Boxer Rebellion in China. Even though this is a comic book, I had to put it down a couple of times to take a bit of a breather because the depth and intensity overwhelmed me and I couldn't even imagine how my ancestors' ancestors lived through the war and tension. I can't help but wonder if what happened in history affects the "keep the peace" disposition many ove ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Back in grad school, I had my first experience with Gene Luen Yang's work when we read his most famous graphic novel thus far, American Born Chinese. Though disparate in subject matter, Boxers does have something in common with his prior work, the magical realism that Yang brings to bear even on historical or contemporary subjects. In Boxers, Gene Luen Yang manages to pack quite a punch with his spare prose and straight forward drawings.

Though I learned about the Boxer Rebellion in college, I'll
David Schaafsma
So this is the first of a two volume set about the Boxer Rebellion for children/tweens/YA, probably YA, by the Printz-award-winning author of American Born Chinese, which is now justly a staple in schools. He also did (is doing?) the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, so he's known for that, too, but this is his next Big Book, though it's also a two book deal, where you get to see the historical war through the eyes of a young boy, in Boxers, and a young girl, in Saints, two kids who see each ot ...more
Jul 27, 2015 Lamar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm ashamed to say I know almost nothing about China's Boxer rebellion. Nevertheless, it was fascinating, and really (really) interesting. The pages were beautifully drawn and the story was told in an interesting manner from the perspective of a young peasant boy who becomes the leader of the resistance.

Yang skillfully combines history with magic realism in this volume that, I grantee, will leave you thinking. They're super fast, violent, and deep. You see the young man truly struggling with cho
Actualización por re lectura Agosto 2015: de nuevo, increíble.

Reseña Agosto 2014: Es una de las primeras novelas gráficas "extensas" que leo y la ame.
Nov 02, 2015 Sabrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teens
There are few graphic novels that are quality historical fiction and this is one. Although it isn't entirely necessary to know some history of China to read this, it certainly helps a lot. The story follows a boy coming of age into a respected leader of rebels in a remote village as he is inspired by a noble visitor who teaches the village Kung Fu. The Boxer Rebellion was a bloody rebellion, and the scenes do not skimp on the fighting at all. Certainly PG-13 due to the violence and sophisticated ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Nusrat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-favorite, 2015
this is awesome. like AWESOME- AWESOME! one of the best graphic novels i've ever read. why? because the art is fantastic, because the story line is fantastic and yes, I am a fan of historical fiction and recently I've read about boxer war in china. well, well, you'll ask so many questions and can't actually deny the brutal act of both parties involved in the war but you can't even hate this book. It's a stress relief to a history lover like me.
Jun 13, 2015 Farah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting read... very interesting.
Aurora Dimitre
This book was such a weird reading experience.

It started slow for me. That's the reason for the four star rating, is that I had to knock off a star because for about a hundred pages, I didn't care all that much. But once I did care, I did care. I got so invested in the story, in how everything was going, that there was a surprise tearing up near the end of the book. It was weird.

I do own the companion novel, but I'm not reading it just yet - though it will be interesting to see the other s
This graphic novel is an interesting take on the Boxer Rebellion. To be honest, I did not learn about the Boxer Rebellion in school--if I did, I forgot about it. But I can say that you need no knowledge of it to appreciate this book.

Unlike some graphic novels or mangas, this book does not contain long, awkward expositional dialogues. Most dialogues sound natural, and they are supplemented by the minimum narration of the main character; Little Bao. So, a lot of things going on are expressed well
Nabila Tabassum Chowdhury
এই গরাফিক নভেলটা চায়নার বকসার রেবেলিয়ন এর উপর করা। আমি এই রেবেলিয়নের কথা জানতাম না। সবচেয়ে মজার বযাপার হলো এই গরাফিক নভেলটি বকসার রেবেলিয়ন থেকে উদভুত বিভিনন মিথ (যেমনঃ বকসারা বিশবাস করতো বা তাদের সমপরকে পরচলিত বিশবাস ছিল ঈশবর তাদের উপর ভর করে, তারা ঈশবর থেকে শকতি নিতে পারে এবং তাদের অসতরসসতর আধুনিক অসতরসসতরের কাছে পরাসত হবার নয়) এবং সতযিকার ফযাকচুয়াল বযাপারগুলো সমনবয় করে লেখা হয়েছে। মযাজিক রিয়েলিজম সটাইলে লেখক কাজটা করেছেন। যদি সরাসরি ফযাকট বলার মত করে করা হতো বযাপারগুলো ঠিক বিশবাসযোগয করা যেত ন ...more
Dichotomy Girl
Yeah, so, I really need to stop reading graphic novels that are about rebellions....They are so violent and depressing....and there was not one single unicorn OR rainbow!

But with that said i enjoyed this graphic novel about the Boxer Rebellion was a bit more than my recent reading of Nat Turner. (Though I was a little disappointed that there was no cameo by Angel, Darla, Spike & Druscilla)

It makes me sad that we as human beings have not learned much in the past 115 years, we are still fighti
This book is just a total surprise for me. The art doesn't really go with the tone of the story but it made sense together. I'ma little upset at the ending but he should have already known that burning books is never the answer. It hurt my heart to see that library on fire so I wasn't too upset when they all got shot. You don't fuck with the history of your country, some things are just not worth it.
Oct 05, 2015 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's rather rare to find myself in the - can't wait to read the next book by this author - kinda mode, but Gene Luen Yang has that effect on me after I read SAINTS. So I read BOXERS in just under 2 hours and thought it was a brilliant masterpiece. This young writer has great talent in storytelling and I look forward to reading more of his work. Will be looking out for his name from now on.
An interesting and accessible account of the Boxer Rebellion. Yang highlights the ways that Western Imperialism and corrupt rule at home led to the radicalization of Chinese peasants, drawing obvious parallels to today's Jihadist groups and wars in the Middle East. Yang struggles a bit with tone -- the slapstick humor, flat artwork, and juvenile romance never really sit well with the story of massacres and bloody street fighting. Yang presents his hero as conflicted about the violent acts he com ...more
Jacob Goldman
Apr 09, 2014 Jacob Goldman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I thought this book was really good because some people in the world are forcing people to do what they want, even if its wrong,and this book shows why. I like how the boy, Little Bao, stands up to a lot of people that were trying to hurt, kill his family. There was one part where he turned in to black-robed god, and he turns in to a fire god a little bit later. The only thing I did not like about it is that there are so many racist parts in the book. Example: when Christians are called "Devils, ...more
Mississippi Library Commission
This historical graphic novel is set in 1898 China during the Boxer Rebellion. Little Bao is just a boy during this time, but he calls upon the ancient Chinese gods for help and recruits others to form an army of Boxers. Their mission is to free China from the missionaries who are taking away their rights. We loved this one, but be warned! This is definitely a book about war, and war, as we all know, is a terrible thing. Yang's illustrations are amazing and really bring the plot together. We can ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Say rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-2015-reads
Horrifying at times, funny when needs to be and most of all you'll get a rundown at what happened during the Boxer Rebellion. This was a fun and full of information read. =)
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Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese received National Book Award.

More about Gene Luen Yang...

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Boxers & Saints (2 books)
  • Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)

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“What is China but a people and their stories?” 9 likes
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