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(Boxers & Saints #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  13,617 ratings  ·  1,411 reviews
China, 1898. An unwanted and unwelcome fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family when she's born. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: Christianity.

But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is in full swing, and bands of young men roam the countryside, murdering Westerners and Chine
Paperback, 170 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by First Second
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  13,617 ratings  ·  1,411 reviews

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Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was more than excited to start this companion graphic novel, which is told from an alternative perspective than the one in Boxers. And for the most part, it did not disappoint.

China, 1898. An unwanted and unwelcome fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family when she's born. She finds friendship--and a name, Vibiana--in the most unlikely of places: Christianity.

But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is in full swing, and bands of you
Jan Philipzig
While companion volume Boxers tells the story of the Boxer Rebellion in China from a rebel's point of view, Saints chooses the perspective of Four-Girl (alias Vibiana), a Chinese girl who converts to Christianity and thus comes to be cast as a "secondary devil" by the rebels. The result is a less action-packed and patriotic, more character-driven and tragic narrative.

What I love most about this book is its protagonist, Four-Girl, whose independent, logic-defying way of thinking and sheer will po
First Second Books
Sep 19, 2013 marked it as first-second-publications
One of the things that makes both Boxers and Saints fascinating is how the author treats religion.

Boxers features a magical realistic element; the Chinese gods (who the characters know mainly through the opera) possess the Boxer rebels and help power their rebellion; when the rebels go to war, they feel that they are taken over by the gods and protected and driven by them. In the book, Gene draws the gods as they are taking over the Boxers and propelling them into battle. The pictures aren't jus
This is the 2nd part of the Boxers and Saints story by Gene Luen Yang. It's set in China during the Boxer rebellion. It was pretty tough on the people there. We focus on 4-Girl in this story. She seems a little disturbed and she is seeing Joan of Arc. She decides she wants to be a 'foreign devil' and she joins up with a priest. We see what's happening a little more on the European side through 4-girl's eyes.

I didn't enjoy this one as much as Boxers. I think it was difficult to relate to the cha
Had to pick this up the minute I finished BOXERS, and couldn't put it down, either. This book is a glimpse into the Boxer Rebellion from the point of view of a young Christian girl, one of the ones called a Secondary Devil by the Boxers, since she follows the devil religion, but is Chinese. And, honestly, who can blame this child for going to the Christian faith? Her own family never gives her a name, because she is the unlucky fourth daughter, born on the fourth day of the month. Unwanted, unlo ...more
Colleen Fauchelle
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Got this for our oldest son for Christmas 2016 and I borrowed it and finally got arround to reading it. It was an intresting read.
I read Saints a few days after I read Boxers, the stories forming this intricate dovetail. Yang has told the simplified history of the Boxer Rebellion from two sides, two young people on either side of the conflict. It's a brilliant approach. I liked Four-Girl/Vibiana, and her telling of the events, as they weave with Little Bao's. I felt that Boxers was the stronger of the two stories - a little more background and heft - but I did enjoy this one too.

Longer spoken review of this book and the c
Another qualified 3 stars since I don't think this work stands alone from Boxers. The end and especially the epilogue concern Boxers and recontextualize that book in retrospect. As far as reading order, I think that Boxers should be read first. Boxers sort of spoils Saints ending but Boxers itself is more interesting after reading Saints subsequently.

It is hard to separate Saints from Boxers, which I had finished just the day before, but I think Yang does a much better job with the internal conf
Even though this is a companion book to Boxers, make sure you read this one last. This is a lot shorter of a read, but Boxers gives you more meat to what is going on. I liked this book as well. I liked that we get a polar view to what was going on in the other book. The Boxers & Saints is a great historical fiction comic book, with a mix of mythology and magical realism. ...more
David Schaafsma
I think Boxers is the book I wassupposed to read first, and my skimming of reviews says they liked that one better, but I loved this one, nevertheless. It's the story of Four-Girl, a girl who grows up in an abusive family that doesn't even NAME her, a girl who becomes a Christian against her family wishes during the Boxer Rebellion in 1898...She has visions of Joan of Arc, who becomes her guide through the process of deciding she wants to be a warrior in the fight... And of course encounters som ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ending surprised me -- made me think harder about the intersection of Chinese & Western culture, religion, colonization & the Opium War, Chinese liberation, and whether there really is a "right" and a "wrong". Also had to Google Boxer Rebellion bc I'm an idiot and can't remember Chinese history. And then I got to thinking of modern day underground house churches in China, and if Chinese people still hold the same "secondary devil" or traitor sentiment towards Chinese Christians. ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned-read
Just soooooo tragic. 4.5
Kristin Kowalk
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was good as well, but Boxers stands on its own, so I'm giving Saints 3.5 stars.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
forgot to mention that I had read this sequel of Boxers immediately. No cultural knowledge has been acquired since it is still talks about the same period of time except in a different aspect ( from some girl who is Chinese and converted to Christianity).
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
She is born the fourth girl in her Chinese family, and since her grandfather refuses to give her a name, she is called simply Four-Girl. When she is awkward or misbehaves, her family call her a devil, so Four-Girl goes to the foreign devils to find companionship and becomes a Christian.

As Four-Girl searches for her identity within Christian culture, she has visions of Joan of Arc, who appears to her to guide and encourage her in the faith. Four-Girl knows that she must find a calling, and learn
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Boxers & Saints is an incredibly powerful piece of historical fiction told in the format of a graphic novel. The illustrations are potent and the story is heartbreaking. There are no winners; only losers. It is a story of revenge and intolerance. Gene Luen Yang has written an amazing novel that you will not forget.

The images in both books tell a very strong story. At times, it is very graphic where I suck in my breath as I see the next image. Yang depicted all the intolerance of the Boxer Rebell
This book was boring and it was about a Chinese girl getting converted into a Christian. Jesus and Joan keep making appearances the way Chinese gods made their appearance in Boxers. Too much of religious mumbo jumbo , not an interesting storyline or characters. Basically there was no point to this story. Meaningless book.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another view of the Boxer Rebellion told by a young girl who is a bit touched in the head. Very weird.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: july-2015-reads
Not really necessary, but it depicts how Christianity affected the Chinese people especially Four Girl (Vibiana). Glad I read this duology. =)
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I preferred this side of the story to the Boxers portion. Showing the common humanity on both sides of a conflict is a pretty rad approach.
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A #GetGraphic read—This felt a bit rushed, I wish it would’ve been longer. Not quite as good as Boxers, but equally as heartbreaking.
****Reread again****
***Reread for YA Course Discussion***

Reading and teaching abroad changed me.

Books opened doors to me that I never imagined in the years of my youth. Reading about the world made me want to journey out and know it. Having spent my first four years of teaching in Japan, I came to realize that things were not always as they seemed. Behind most of the confusion that came with living in a new place were stories that shed light where I originally could not see. What’s more, I came
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review (that also includes a review on Boxers) can be found on my blog:

Boxers & Saints is a companion set of historical fiction graphic novels that gives a unique look at the Boxer Rebellion of China between 1899-1901. This magical realism tale delivers a heartbreaking look at the violent upheaval that occurred in Chinese society during this time period.

The longer first book, Boxers, sets the stage for young Lee Boa to see how both foreigners and enc
Scott Foley
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I recently wrote a review of Gene Luen Yang's Boxers, and this book, Saints, is a companion piece.  In fact, it's more than just a companion piece -- it's a conclusion.

In Boxers, there's a moment where the main character, Bao, sees a young girl close to his own age.  He believes she looks like the devil.  Later on in the book, when they are both much older, Bao (seemingly) kills this girl in the city of Peking because she will not renounce her Christianity. 

Saints is the story of that girl, from
Boxers and Saints are hard to review for me. In some ways, Gene Luen Yang's art and dialog seems so boiled down that I felt that some of the nuances of an incredibly culturally, religiously, and historically important series of events might be lost, but somehow it wasn't. It was so refreshing for me to read Boxers and Saints, because unlike many creators several comic books and graphic novels that have been released recently with the growing popularity and acceptance of these media as legitimate ...more
Get X Serious
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not quite a sequel, more of a companion to Boxers.

In Boxers, our protagonist assumes the form of and converses with the first emperor of China, often looking to him for guidance in his actions. In similar fashion, our "hero" in Saints is a girl who sees visions of Joan of Arc, another cultural icon, albeit from a very different culture. The two characters act on different sides of the same story, but their respective cultural "delusions" represent two separate ideologies that are distinct, and y
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! Just, WOW!
I'm not sure why these two books are two books but I am so glad they exist! What a veritable treasure for the cannons of historical fiction. What a gem for any scholar of any age to have access to such a document of Chinese history and Christian missionary history... And perspective from both sides, no less.
I think "Saints" was still a bit heavy handed in judgement of the missionaries/Christians and while I don't disagree, it's hard to see the "take from two sides" as it seems
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Maybe I'm misinterpreting the intent of this book. Considering how much attention and promotion it's received (much of which I've read), that seems odd. I've read most (maybe all) of Yang's published work, and seen him speak. I dig him, as a creator of stories.
But I get the impression that a duo-work like this (and Boxers) was created to portray both sides of the story. The story of the Boxer rebellion. And it kinda does.
But why does Boxers get to be almost double the length of Saints?
I left the
Steph Sinclair
Saints is the companion novel to Boxers and slightly shorter. It tells the story from a young Chinese girl who converts to Christianity during the Rebellion. It was interesting to see the same events that played out in Boxers seen from the other side, but all in all, I don’t think this was as strong as Boxers was. I will say, though, that while you could probably read either first, I’d go with this one last since it does give the final piece to both books’ endings.
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
The other side of the Boxer Rebellion Story. As I mentioned in the "Boxers" review, Yang uses cultural characters to show the inner life of the characters and their struggle with belief - in this case Vibiana relates to the story of Joan of Arc. I don't know that this was as believable as the opera gods were in "Boxers". Lovely artwork, clear story-telling, an interesting 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.


Other books in the series

Boxers & Saints (2 books)
  • Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1)

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