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Queen of the Sea

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,206 ratings  ·  518 reviews
Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Walker Books US
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  2,206 ratings  ·  518 reviews

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Dec 10, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnf, comics, arc, english
***Advance Review Copy generously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Unfortunately, after loving the first "scene", my interest in this or any enjoyment went downhill and I was unable to read more than 10 or 15%.
It was very tedious and tiring to read, too much focusing on the mundane life and the nun part of the story. In all honesty, I expected something completely different than what was delivered.
The art is enjoyable, though. But still I feel like DNFing and not r
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book for free from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

This is a graphic novel very loosely based on Elizabeth I and her sister, Mary. And by loosely I mean that it more like an alternate history. That being said, I still enjoyed it.


I had an ARC of this so the art was not complete and not in color but from what I got, I really liked the art. I can tell it will look stunning in its finished version. It’s cute in a way that captures the innocence of the ma
With graphic novels and comics for kids being produced at a rate far more prodigious than ever before, you can get a little inured to the sameness of some of the titles. There are the personal memoirs, mostly about white girls. There are the out-of-this-world space and robot adventures. There are the magic and witch inspired fantasies. And then there are the books that sort of stand apart from the pack. What we don’t see a lot of in a given year is realistic historical fiction. You might see it ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Betrayal, sickness, love and war. Queen of the Sea is a historical fiction graphic novel full of amazing illustrations and a gripping, emotional story.

Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy

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Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of A Passion of Dolssa
Recommended to Tatiana by: ala19
A little surprised I haven't heard anyone talk about this graphic novel.

Although it skews more middle grade than YA (the protagonist seems to be a girl of about ten?), Queen of the Sea is a sophisticated work of (alternative) historical fiction, wonderfully illustrated. The story is a little hard to explain, basically it's about a Mary/Elizabeth I Tudor-type fight for the throne, told from a perspective of Margaret, who lives in a convent on a remote island. The novel borrows liberally from rea
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley-2019
Historical fiction loosely based on Elizabeth I. The story is told from the perspective of a young girl raised in a convent on a remote island. The story is long and drawn out at 400 pages but I never found myself bored. It's told in a mixture of traditional comic book panels and illustrated prose. The story shifts about half way through when a mysterious woman is brought to the island as a prisoner. Meconis's art has a simple, muted style to it that gave the book the look of an illustrated manu ...more
Nana Spark
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to read mature children’s books and English history
Recommended to Nana by: Netgalley
Be warned: the art in this one will deceive you. Based on the art and the summary, I picked this one up as a chill children’s book to help get my Netgalley score up. As stated in my August TBR blog post, I’m very interested in reading about English history. I thought this would just be a child’s view on what happens in this retelling but boy was I wrong.

The story starts with the MC Margaret, an orphan girl and only child on an island convent, explaining the island and her own mysterious history
Fascinating alternate history, closely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I during the reign of her half-sister, Bloody Mary. The illustrations are amazing, and the characters and story are excellent. I would love for her to continue this.
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Margaret lives a simple life on an island convent. She's the only child on the island, until William comes to live with her, the sisters, the three servants and the animals. But then William's mother dies and he is sent away, and the next person to come to the island is an angry young woman who used to be queen...and Margaret discovers her own secret history.

This is a riveting hybrid graphic novel (there's a lot of text in addition to illustrations) that is an alternate history version of Englan
Rod Brown
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A deliberately-paced and immersive alternate history that may be a bit of a challenge for the young audience to which it is targeted, but the plucky young heroine should carry them through. Though set entirely in a convent on a small, remote island, plentiful storytelling and royal court intrigues keep the book from feeling claustrophobic. I would certainly be interested in seeing the sequel set up by the conclusion.
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending an ARC of this one my way. Queen of the Sea was such a pleasant surprise! Such a creative retelling of history. I loved the setting and the cast of characters. Plus, there’s plenty of political intrigue. So so good, and I really hope there are future books in this series!
Rich and complex.

Also, makes me want to do a reread of Perilous Gard.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I’m honestly surprised how much I loved this graphic novel. Historical fiction isn’t usually my thing and this is based loosely on the story of Queen Elizabeth and Mary.

I loved the art. It was cute but not overly so; fun but serious when it needed to be; just an overall good fit. At first I was overwhelmed with the number of characters but everyone has a fairly distinct personality and I grew to love them all. The plot was a bit convoluted but only because I really don’t know the source materia
Leonard Kim
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though set in a different time period, this has the same strengths as honored books of recent years such as Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale and Murdock’s The Book of Boy. A couple of times before, I had picked this up, looked at the first pages, and put it back. But once I decided to dive in, it became good pretty quickly, then great.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't wait to see the finished version in full-color. And I really hope it has a sequel.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was a little nervous when I saw how thick this was.
I'm not inherently afraid of long books (librarian, obv), much less long graphic novels, but I still have this thing in my head that says that I'm not super into historical fiction. Which this definitely is.
I mean, it's fictionalized, sure, but is also heavily inspired by "the early years of Queen Elizabeth the First." I'm not an anglo-fanatic, and honestly, I try to avoid reading books by and about white people these days.

But I found this
This is a truly a graphic novel, with lots of text and story mixed with the gorgeous artwork. It is inspired by history but not based on any one story. Meconis' artwork is fantastic and it really pulls you in to the story. I really enjoyed Margaret's adventure on the island and I hope that there is a follow up because I want to know what happens next!
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely brilliant graphic novel, great story, and fantastic alternate history. Book two when?
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Based loosely on the story of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary, this graphic novel is remarkable. Margaret has been on the island since she was a baby, cared for by the nuns that live there, not knowing who her parents are. The island has only a few residents, including goats and chickens. The nuns help those whose ships sink or crash making their way around the island, and they take in political prisoners as well. In fact, when Margaret is old enough to be curious, she discovers that the nuns a ...more
Ms. B
There are kids who like graphic novels and then there are kids who love graphic novels. Give this tale of intrigue, secrets and betrayal to the latter.
Set in the mid 1500s on an island convent near England (called Albion), young Margaret knows only of life with the nuns of the island. How did she arrive on the island? Who are her parents? Are they still alive? The story picks up speed when Eleanor arrives on the island to stay as a guest. Margaret finds herself the sometimes companion of Eleanor
Jade Melody
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this. I was just browsing my library's website in search for books I could borrow and found this. It was a recently published graphic novel and it seemed interesting enough for me to check it out.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also hom
Karen Witzler
The sort of fantastic extrapolation that I would have invented as a young girl - a third daughter of Henry VIII hidden away on an island -- some delightful space between history and fantasy.
*thank you to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

I really enjoyed this. I didn't think I would as I didn't like the illustrations right at the beginning but they grew on me and actually suited the story. It's a historical retelling of Queen Elisabeth and Queen Mary. I basically had no really knowledge about them so this Graphic Novel was a really good introduction. While it's not all fact, and is only loosely based on the sisters, it's
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed the well-thought out storyline and all of the characters. I was frustrated by the ending, because it was left open and there seems to be no sign of a sequel yet, although I sincerely hope there is one!
This book was definitely packed with a lot of information, and sometimes I felt just a little bit of boredom creeping in. But overall I really like the book and am eager for more of the story!
Rating 5 Stars

I absolutely adored this hefty graphic novel filled with amazing illustrations and a great tale loosely based on real historical events. I can't recommend this enough!
Queen Cronut
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A loose historical reimagination based off of the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary depicted through a graphic novel.

The premise sounded really interesting and it exceeded all of my expectations. Although Queen of the Sea is kind of wordy for a graphic novel, it does a superb job weaving the historical context and folklore with the plot. The art is stunning and I liked that the text/dialogue is woven into the story rather than being two discrete aspects of the book.

Margaret wa
R. G. Nairam
I really wanted this to be either more fantasy or more historical. I found the mix it settled on pretty unsatisfying. The characters are also kind of static. They do ACT, but I was never convinced that anyone had grown or learned enough for the story to be over. Nice historical art, though.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Margaret was brought to the convent of Saint Elysia on a remote island off the coast of Albion as a baby. She has lived there her whole life with the handful of sisters, servants, goats, chickens and seals. For many years, the only other "children" on the island were the wooden carving of the Sorrowful Son in his mother's arms in the church, and the portrait of Princess Eleanor sitting at her father King Edmund's side. Margaret prays for a companion and eventually she gets her wish when William ...more
Amber Scaife
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A sort of alternate history/historical fiction graphic novel loosely based on the experiences of the young Elizabeth I. I enjoyed it just fine, but it didn't knock me off my feet like I was expecting. I think, honestly, it would have worked better as a plain old novel, where details could be fleshed out more (and I don't really feel like the illustrations playing a strong enough role in the story anyway). *shrug*
Elizabeth A
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphix, kids-ya, 2020
This graphic novel is "a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary."

Set on an fictional island, in a convent, this tale is a meditation on family and politics. The art is wonderful and I really liked the juxtaposition of convent life with political drama. Target for early YA readers, this is wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated.
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Dylan Meconis is a cartoonist and writer. She was raised in Seattle, Washington, but now lives in Portland, Oregon.
She is a member of Helioscope, the largest studio of freelance comics creators in North America.
She is married to her wife Katie, and they have a dog named President Teddy Roosevelt.

Articles featuring this book

Want to encourage young readers to keep up their reading habits? Look no further than this year's buzziest YA and middle-grade graphic...
55 likes · 17 comments
“Saints are mostly people who once walked around and ate breakfast and put their shoes on one at a time, just like you or me. They did something amazing enough that instead of just going to heaven after they die, they became messengers to heaven!

Not everybody gets to be a saint through miracles and good deeds, like Saint Elysia. Some saints died while bravely defending their faith.

Those saints are called martyrs.

Martyrs have died in all kinds of awful ways. If something terrible happens to you, it's probably not as bad as being eaten by lions, like Saint Leonisius was.

And if you are being eaten by lions, you know that Saint Leonisius understands.

After someone becomes a saint, she sits in heaven and listens to the prayers of living people, and tries to help them. You can choose to pray to a saint who had a problem like yours when they were alive. Or you can pray to a saint who performed the kinds of miracles you're hoping will happen to you - like curing a sickness or surviving a storm at sea.”
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