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Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  878 ratings  ·  224 reviews
In his first graphic novel, National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson turns to Arthurian lore, with captivating art by Andrea Offermann bringing the classic legend to life.

Eager for glory and heedless of others, Sir Yvain sets out from King Arthur’s court and defeats a local lord in battle, unknowingly intertwining his future with the lives of two compelling women: Lady La
Hardcover, 134 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Candlewick Press (MA)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  878 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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A different way to delve into Arthurian stories. But why Yvain? There is an undercurrent of an odd feminism here (or maybe anti-feminism) - women who must manipulate men to see justice. Which is why of course love is bound with hate. Yvain's behavior is a good conversation starter. Hero or no? And the graphic novel approach is appealing for a new generation.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, adaptation
Hardly the most engaging story, but it certainly does what it sets out to do. It seems that what Anderson found interesting in the story is that the female characters are allowed to have a certain amount of (still very limited) agency, and to express reactions that are entirely at odds with the expectations of the supposed hero character and with audience expectations. That the female love interest's reaction to being "won" by the hero can basically be summed up as "FML" is more than a little ou ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I really enjoyed this Arthurian tale- one I hadn't yet read. Yvain falls insta-love with a Lady after killing her husband (the middle ages, people), and spends most of the book screwing up, then trying to make up for hurting her (because she marries him even though she pretty much hates him). Yvain has many adventures and seems to mature and become a true Knight in Shining Armor (although despite all that he never seems to wise up to how much his wife is only with him because of her honor and no ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting Arthurian tale. Artwork was pretty great but sometimes rough.
Edward Sullivan
A superbly told and illustrated graphic adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes's medieval Arthurian legend. Anderson's text is clever, nuanced, and especially perceptive in rendering a feminist subtext. Andrea Offermann's elegant illustrations are appropriately dramatic, emotional and magical. A compelling, stylish retelling of Arthurian lore.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not typically interested in Arthurian stuff but I'm trying to complete my readthrough of the works of M.T. Anderson. Sooo I wasn't too surprised to find this super weird and funny (and apparently based on translations from the French that Anderson did himself?? why is he so good at everything??? what's his deal??)

Like everything else he writes I think this is kind of a hard sell to most teens but I think if you can get it into the hands of people who like high fantasy stuff (and obv people w
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Medieval romances are very bizarre. I say this having dearly loved my medieval literature classes in college; I wrote my first major research paper on the Lay of Sir Launfal. Also, I was a King Arthur junkie as a child; I designed an elaborate game with my friends in which we all pretended to be Arthurian characters reincarnated as teens (I was a sulky Morgan La Fay). So I have a long-standing appreciation for the legends of the Round Table. Additionally, Anderson is one of my favorites; Octavia ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
ARC from Baker and Taylor

Apparently, what I need for my school are JUNIOR graphic novels. My students love things like the graphic novels of Stormbreaker and anything by Raina Telgemeier, but when I hand them books that have nice art, well developed plots and tiny print, they flip through them and don't realy read them. That might be because the students who like the graphic novels are often struggling readers.

This is a graphic novel for students who LIKE to read and who like history. I will pa
Elise Rose
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
-The art was alright
-Super unhealthy romance
-Cool lion
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A solid graphic novelization of the old Arthurian tale. (side note the amount of blood being drawn by broad swords hitting chain mail kind of drove me crazy, but I worry about stupid details too much)
While the illustrations are beautiful, I simply could not get behind this story. I know it's based on epic poetry from a different time, but the glorification of violence and what is essentially trial by murder just made me ill. I think this is a case of something that works in one medium not working in another. When you have to look at the protaginist take up a ridiculous duel, cleave his sword into the other guys skull, and then claim to have fallen in love with his widdow all in a few short p ...more
Caitlin Snyder
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read an advanced copy through Netgalley.

I was really pleased with this adaptation. I've never had a strong background in Arthurian lore, so I was pretty much able to just enjoy the story. The author and illustrator notes made all the difference in the world .
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I liked the flow of the graphics, but I did not enjoy the story. The women in here really get the short end of the stick, and it was hard to read about one of the main characters forced into an arrangement that made her miserable. Yvain himself is blindly self centered and oblivious to other people's feelings.

Not really for me.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed the art style and the visual aspect of the page, the story was less than engaging. I was struck by the combined feminism and lack thereof - while the story revolves around the women in Arthurian legend, the limited agency of those women was noticeable.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
graphic rendering of Chretien de Troyes "Yvain."
Alex  Baugh
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am a medievalist at heart, and I especially love the stories about King Arthur and the knights of the round table. So, I was pretty excited to see this retelling based on Chrétien de Troyes Yvain story by M. T. Anderson and in graphic form to boot. Essentially, it is a story about vengeance, love, and redemption, with a lot of action in between.

The tale begins when a young knight, Sir Calogrenant, returns to King Arthur's court beaten and defeated. He tells the court how he can upon a fountain
Lee Anne
Arthurian romances and postmodernism seem to have a lot in common--the first can feel very amoral in its depictions of its heroes, who have an untidy penchant for cutting off people's heads, and the second likes to blur the line between hero and villain, right and wrong. So it is with M.T. Anderson's retelling of Chrétien de Troyes' story of Yvain.

Part of the opening narration warns us to expect irony, "There was once an age when love was honorable. Or so I've heard." What follows is a tale of
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Initial Thoughts: I'm very excited there's a mainstream, YA version of "The Knight with the Lion." Medieval stories don't always get this chance for publicity. However, I think my familiarity with the story allowed me to fill in parts that may not be immediately clear to first time readers, particularly when the creators relied on solely the art to convey swaths of the plot. I'm also a bit disgruntled with some of the changes the authors made to the story. I understand it probably streamlined th ...more
3.5 stars

I love M. T. Anderson's work. I wasn't familiar with the Yvain legend. It's a great vehicle for teens to explore the social mores of the time. How the people interpreted Christianity and honor and valor. I loved how the story exposed the restricted but potentially powerful role of women acting behind the scenes and behind the men. I love that the story honestly shows Lady Laudine's exploitation as she's forced to accept a man she despises, who murdered her first husband and abandoned he
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the roughness and strangeness of Arthurian romance, of von Eschenbach and de Troyes -- comics sometimes verge on the slickness of Hollywood screenplay, and it's refreshing to read a standalone comic that isn't afraid to be weird, to be tonally all-over-the-place, to be unsatisfying, because that's exactly what its source material happens to be. At the same time, this is a polished package of a story with some excellent choices in layout and storytelling. Very good stuff.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-gn
This GN version of the twelfth Century Arthurian Yvain legend raises questions about the nature of heroism, the battle between good and evil, and the role revenge plays in our lives. I found reading it in our current political environment compelling. “There are many secret chambers in our hearts where love can hide and many battlements where hate can stand, watching for enemies.” Perhaps we need to watch for Love a little more and watch for Hate a little less.
An excellent interpretation of Arthurian myth. Andrea Offerman's artwork is spectacular! The story itself is unsettling, like many of the Arthurian tales, and its characters are simultaneously brave and foolhardy, kind and conniving. The author's note from Anderson does much to illuminate some of the contradictory messages in the text, and Offerman's illustrators note adds valuable historical context as well.
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Striking is the word that comes to mind. The hurricaine-like movement of the artwork, the startling graphic violence, enormous passions, and awesome jousting. I love Arthurian legends, and I like that this story is of the type that doesn't try to prettify it but keeps the hyperbole of the stories alive.

I have heard of Gawain, Galahad, Persival, Lancelot, but Yvain was a new one. I like that it's a bit like the myths of Greek heroes, with ridiculous but fatal flaws, women who steel themselves ag
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I am a new comer to graphic novels but I think I have found my favorite sub genre in it. The historical graphic novels.
Enjoyed the story, didn't love the art. It was pretty, but the text balloons didn't really go and I'm not sure what could have been done about it.
Ms. Jackson
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sir Yvain, as a knight of the Round Table, demonstrates bravery and purpose. He often takes on challenges, like fighting a giant and demons, for other people, because it is his purpose to serve.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My Year for Graphic Novels.
My students enjoy them and I have too.
Great way to get students to read and then articulate what they have read.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Much as I love graphic novels, I often struggle with American graphic novels, preferring manga and manhwa with their many volume stories. A couple hundred pages with very little text don't seem like enough most of the time to tell a complex and nuanced story. There's not enough time to invest in the characters because the book's so soon over.

Though I like Arthurian legend, I didn't really get the point or desired audience for this. I don't feel like this is especially compelling teen fare, espec
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read in galley so I am eagerly awaiting the finished copy. Even with these "low resolution images" Offermann's illustrations have terrific energy and emotional impact. I love the tapestry-like panels on many of the pages that reinforce the sense of the legend and the Middle Ages.

Anderson's retelling of the Arthurian story is richly layered and carries multiple threads that will give older readers much to think about. It is also a wonderful gateway to Arthurian stories and will surely propel man
Brenda Kahn
I enjoy King Arthur stories and this was intriguing fun - sweeping and eventful. The palette is mostly muted save for flashes of red mostly representing the blood that was shed in battles but could be the arc. Panel sizes vary from nearly thumb-nail size to double-page spreads. Author and artist notes at the end enhance understanding. Looking forward to seeing the finished book.
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Matthew Tobin Anderson (M. T. Anderson), (1968- ) is an author, primarily of picture books for children and novels for young adults. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His picture books include Handel Who Knew What He Liked; Strange Mr. Satie; The Serpent Came to Gloucester; and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. He has written such young adult books as Thirsty, Burger Wuss, Feed, The

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