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Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, with fae powers that make him different from everyone else—even his unwitting parents and older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being human makes him an oddity at the royal palace, and where his only friend is a wax golem named Whick.

But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne takes the throne, the Childe and Edmund realize that the fate of both worlds may be in their hands—even if they’re not sure which world they belong to.

224 pages, Hardcover

First published August 7, 2018

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About the author

Ethan M. Aldridge

10 books304 followers
Ethan M. Aldridge is a bestselling author and illustrator. He is the creator of the fantasy graphic novel ESTRANGED (a Junior Library Guild selection, Indie Bestseller, and YALSA Great Graphic Novel For Teens), and its follow up THE CHANGELING KING.

Ethan was raised in a small town in Utah. Growing up, Ethan’s favorite things to draw were monsters and whatever dinosaur he liked that week. He now does more or less the same thing for a living. Ethan lives in New York City with his husband, Matthew, and their dog, Kitsune.

Ethan has had the pleasure to create work for HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, and EA Games.

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5 stars
1,027 (32%)
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1,343 (42%)
3 stars
640 (20%)
2 stars
103 (3%)
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36 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 569 reviews
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,377 reviews1,437 followers
May 6, 2019
A cute graphic novel for middle graders that features a changeling, his human counterpart, their human sister and a golem made out of wax.

"There hasn't been a human in High Court in a century. That makes you special, doesn't it?" "Oh, they never let me forget that. It's always 'the human childe'."

But trouble brews when a disgruntled elf turns the king and queen of the High Court into rodents. Then, she goes after the "Childe". In response, he seeks out his changeling twin in the world above or the real world. And that is where our adventure begins.

"The only home I've ever had has been taken! This was meant to be my home, my life, and it was taken before I was old enough to remember it!" "I've got nothing, nowhere to go! I have as much right to be here as you!"

Along the way, they have to face goblins, magic statues, a witch and a treasure-hungry dragon. The plot is a bit simplistic but it is perfect for children who like fantasy and urban fantasy.

In fact, I picked this book up at the local game shop for my daughter and she read it in one sitting, which is a miracle because she's a reluctant reader. I'm always looking for stories or formats that appeal to someone who enjoys video games more than books.

She absolutely loved it and said I HAD to read it. I asked why and she said, "Because it's just awesome." She loved the magic and world Ethan Aldridge has created. She also loved the artwork. Her favorite character, and mine, was Whick, the brave wax golem who accompanies the Human Childe from the court below to the world above and back.

The story also touches on the sometimes difficult relationship between a brother and sister. There's a good message about taking care of your family that I resonated with.

In conclusion, I loved that my Human Childe loved it. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for laureneliza.
295 reviews9 followers
August 17, 2018
this is extremely my shit
fay stuff
found families
a dragon
everyone has cool hair
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 31 books5,632 followers
May 24, 2021
A fun adventure story set in our world, and in the world of fairy, about a changling and his human "brother" who have to come together to fight when the fairy world is threatened. Beautiful art, fun story, and this is a complete arc so you're not left hanging, though there's clearly room for sequels.
Profile Image for Nicholas Perez.
400 reviews92 followers
April 2, 2021
More 3.5/5 stars.

Estranged is about two boys who are identical to each other but aren't twins. Years ago, in line with the stories of changelings, a human baby boy was taken from his crip by fae and replaced with a fae child that looked similar to him. The fae child was named Edmund and grew up misunderstood, but loved, by the humans around him, but was forced to hide his identity and magic. The human child was raised by the king and queen of the fae with the simple title of the Human Childe. One day, Hawthorne, the sister to the fae king, overthrows the monarchs and the Human Childe escapes with his golem Whick to the world above. At the same time, Edmund, after accidentally setting his sister's hair on fire, realizes he feels less and less welcomed in the human world. Luckily, or unluckily, enough, the Human Childe comes to him which is the genesis of a journey back down below to save the fae kingdom. A kingdom that has treated neither boy like they belong.

This was a cute story, and I can't wait to read the sequel. I absolutely loved Edmund and felt so much for him. He was probably the strongest character, although his sister Alexis was next to the best one. She was a welcome ball of energy between Edmund's forlornness and the Human Childe's rigidness. She was a true sister to both of them and I am so glad she tagged along. The Human Childe was the most distant to me, emotionally speaking. His goals were clear, but I didn't really get a true feel for him. Edmund's reluctance to use magic was understandable, but once he got the world below I wish he would've let go of that reluctance and tap into his fae potential.

In terms of worldbuilding, this is one where the character already know they can use magic; no "You're a fae, Edmund" nonsense to introduce us. Ethan M. Aldrige trusts the readers to understand the fae as elemental creatures true to their Celtic origins. There's no holding your hand or judging your intelligence. Still, I would've liked to have known a little bit more about the fae and their magic. Can only some of them do certain types? Is the royalty exempt from any such rule?

The pacing felt a little quick to me. If Aldrige had slowed down a bit, I think I could've enjoyed the story and these characters a bit more. Though it would be a lie if I said I left this book not wanting to revisit this world. The art is lovely too, fits the story quite well. Reminds me a little bit of Tim Burton.

A nice, sweet little story. Can't wait for the next one.
Profile Image for Connor.
687 reviews1,656 followers
March 5, 2019
[3.5 Stars]
I'm not sure why I wasn't loving this as much as a lot of people have. Maybe it's a case of wrong book at the wrong time? I found myself enjoying what I was reading but then putting it down mid-chapter to do anything else. I'll probably reread this to see if it was just my mood because the premise sounds like something I would normally love. A changeling and the stolen human teaming up to save the say? Yeah, I'm in, and the artwork is good too. I Don't Know. For now, this is a 3.5 from me.
Profile Image for Toya (the reading chemist).
1,133 reviews98 followers
October 23, 2019
This was my first graphic novel, and I must say that I was absolutely blown away. I love all stories that involve changelings, so I couldn’t wait to see this take on the subject matter.

The Human Childe is so sick of being regarded as that. His Fae parents never even gave him an actual name. When his long lost Aunt Hawthorne rolls into town and reduced his parents to rats, he must escape to save his own life. He decides it’s time to find the Changeling that he was replaced with, so he flees the Court with Whick (a candlestick golem who becomes inactive when his flame is extinguished...poor guy!) in tow.

Edmund knows that he’s not human, but he can’t risk his family finding out. His powers are getting stronger, and he accidentally sets his sister’s hair on fire during a heated argument. When the Human Childe he was swapped with shows up, he panics. Edmund doesn’t want the only family he’s ever known ripped from him, but once threats from the Fae world surface to the human one, he realizes he needs to protect those that he loves.

OMG. I absolutely loved this story. The author not only created an incredible plot with these two siblings, but the drawings that accompanied them were absolutely breathtaking. I definitely had a lot of preconceived notions about graphic novels, and to hell with those because the experience of reading this book was unlike any other. I loved the exiting theme of family, and how the definition of family was constantly changing.

I can’t wait to see what book two holds for these two brothers...as well as Whick!

Thank you to Wunderkind PR and HarperTeen for providing a book for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,493 reviews426 followers
January 15, 2020
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

I’m a big web comic reader. I always have been. As much as I love books, there’s a special appeal to seeing a story unfold in front of you, which is why, for me, the artwork and the pacing are always so important. If the artwork doesn’t appeal, if the character designs aren’t distinct enough, if the story’s pacing is too slow, it makes me uninterested in keeping up with the comic. Fortunately, Estranged has none of those problems. The artwork is a perfect mix of fantasy and familiar. The fay aren’t just pointy eared, slender, pretty people. Their character designs are unique and alien. Edmund and the nameless boy are — by their nature — identical, but between costumes and facial expressions, they each stand on their own.

Read Elizabeth’s review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Cami L. González.
1,116 reviews350 followers
October 20, 2019
Estuvo divertido. Una historia simple, inteligentemente pensada y que cierra bien en este tomo (dentro de todo).

Todos conocemos las historias de los bebés cambiados entre hadas y humanos. La historia toma al príncipe de un reino subterráneo, que es atacado por alguien de la familia real. Es por esto que el humano va a buscar al hada que vive con su familia verdadera para pedir ayuda.

Los dibujos son bonitos. Los detalles del mundo de abajo también. Dosis justa de historia y acción. Me gustó que mostrara la importancia de la familia y lo que es una verdadera familia, además de la inclusión de Alexis en la historia. Fue lindo ver la relación de hermanos, con ambos protagonistas.
Profile Image for Cassie.
343 reviews65 followers
December 21, 2019
This was precious! The art style was lovely, and I adored the family theme in this story. Good thing I have the second one available for me, as I'm excited to continue this journey with Cinder, Edmund, Whick, and Alexis!
Profile Image for mary.
196 reviews26 followers
April 23, 2018
I really, really enjoyed this! The artwork is beautiful, and the story was captivating. Full review to come.
Profile Image for Quinn Farmer.
22 reviews4 followers
February 25, 2021
I loved this book! Intriguing characters and a page-turning plot makes this a book you can’t put down.
Profile Image for Brittany.
858 reviews112 followers
June 30, 2021
4 Stars!!

Picked this up at the library on a whim- didnt really know what to expect but I really liked the artwork so I thought I would give it a go. I was not disappointed. It was so cute and such a fun storyline. It reminded me a lot of the Amulet Series also a graphic novel that I highly recommend! Can be read in one sitting. Great for Middle Grades :)

Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, his fae powers hidden from his unsuspecting parents and his older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being a human makes him a curiosity at the royal palace.

But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne seizes the throne, the Childe and Edmund must unite on a dangerous quest to save both worlds—even if they’re not sure which world they belong to.
Profile Image for Tyler.
30 reviews
February 14, 2019
I enjoyed the art style, but the story felt a little lacking. Not exactly fleshed out. Understandable, since graphic novels are much more work than a regular story, but I had a hard time getting into it.
Profile Image for Henna.
549 reviews32 followers
April 9, 2020
Estranged has absolutely gorgeous artwork; the style and details are incredible. Often, I just stared at the art instead of continuing the story because of how intricate it all is. The artwork is definitely one of the best parts of this graphic novel, however, the storyline and characters are not far behind. Aldridge weaves a story with depth about identity and formation of families, about accepting and finding oneself.

Edmund and Childe were swapped at birth, so Edmund has spend his life as changeling and Childe has spend his as human pet in the high court of fae, where he wasn't even given a name. Both struggled with their identity and place in the world, and I absolutely loved how deep and meaningful it all was. There's also a plethora of interesting side characters; Whick, a wax golem and Childe's only friend, and Alexis, Edmund's sister. I especially loved how smart Alexis is - she's older and actually knew myths and legends because she had studied them, and I could easily relate to her determined mindset to protect her little brother.

Estranged is beautiful and adventurous story, which I really loved. I cannot wait for the sequel!
Profile Image for Jen Appell.
462 reviews14 followers
January 20, 2019
I didn't even mean to read this or buy this or love this, but here we are. I picked this up during a slow shift at the bookstore, and ended up reading all of it and bringing it home for my partner to read.

A fae changeling and human child grow up in each other's places, but come together to rescue the fae kingdom. Throw in an adorable golem friend, a kickass human sister, and dragons, and I'm sold. The art is intricate, dark, but childish at the same time. It reminded me of the vibe of Spiderwick Chronicles. Definitely will read again.

EDIT: I'm buying a second copy since my partner gave our copy to her sister, who also fell in love with this book. It's a good book, that's all I'm saying. Everyone loves it. You should read it.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,147 reviews28 followers
March 27, 2019
Really gorgeous artwork and a lovely message about building family from the people who love you. A wonderfully paced fantasy adventure!
Profile Image for Nay Denise.
1,529 reviews81 followers
November 21, 2019
Received a copy from the publisher.

Such a great read. I loved the illustrations within the book and the story itself was amazing. The Childe is a strong kid who has dealt with the craziness of the faes. He may have been a human, but he handled himself against the fae and their wicked ways. He carried a lot about the World Below and the World Above. He definitely felt out of place and missed what his life could have been in the World Above, but he didn't let it drag him down.

Edmund was a complete coward to me for most of the book. He has insane powers but since he lives in the human world he feels terrible using them. I feel like being in the World Below helped him come into his real self. Learning his real name was awesome as well and because it matched his powers.

Alexis was the BEST sister ever. Her love for her brother was amazing. As an older sister to four younger siblings I could definitely connect with her loving her brother and wanting to help. Whick was an awesome friend. First off I loved that he was literally a candle -- so cute! He was best-friend type of goals.

That ending was amazing and left me wanting to know how things worked out for Edmund and Cinder Can't wait to continue on with them in the second graphic novel, The Changeling King.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
3 reviews
March 6, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this graphic novel! It only took about an hour to read; I read it in 2 sittings, but faster readers could probably read it in about 30 minutes easily. I've been dying to read a fantasy children's graphic novel with an original, engaging plot-line and likable characters for a while now. The last time I read something like that was Amulet (great series BTW!), but sadly, that was a while ago. Thankfully, this book fulfilled my wish!

Essentially, the plot is about two boys who were switched a birth. To make things worse, they're both different species and from different worlds as well; one is a human and the other is called a "Fay". And to summarize it very shortly, they both reunite and are forced to work together in order to save the Below (the world of the Fays and other creatures) from evil.

I love the characters, especially Whick and Alexis and of course the two boys. Even though this book is meant to cater towards middle-school aged kids, I do like how the author made it enjoyable for adult readers like myself as well.

All in all, I really encourage graphic novel lovers to pick up this book! It would make a great addition to indulge your fantasy graphic novel cravings!
Profile Image for Owly&HerBooks.
374 reviews70 followers
December 3, 2019
This was a great story, with so many interesting and creative characters. I was left wanting more of this imagined world, which includes the human and fae realms. And believe me, those weren’t the only beings we see in this novel. There is so much more going on in this book, with an extremely lovable character like Whick, and a changeling I quickly began rooting for.

What makes this novel even more intriguing are the watercolor filled pages, with the dark mediums that are incorporated at just the right places, with many illustrated creatures that are definitely not part of a “fantasy paperback reject”. I especially loved the changes between Edmund and the “Childe”, the many pages that were filled with their unique qualities.

Much of that had to do with Edmund and how he is written in this novel. I loved that he wasn’t a most common kind of changeling. He became more than what was expected of him, which made for a better story. The Childe though, took a little more getting used to, finding a same balance with, but as the story progressed it started to come full circle for him as well.

Then, if all of that wasn’t enough, there’s a dragon that enters the story in the second half of the novel. I didn’t know I needed anything more, but I was proven wrong and happily took in all of the craziness that began happening the more I read. There’s something going on in almost every page of this book, along with many settings to keep the story going. So looking forward to the sequel!

***I received this copy from HarperCollins, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
Profile Image for Vehka Kurjenmiekka.
Author 4 books32 followers
January 9, 2021
I really enjoyed this! The story is fast-paced and fun, the world imaginative but based on familiar concepts of fairies and golems, and the protagonists are very likable. The art style is also beautiful in kind of friendly way that makes me feel right ar home in the world of the comic.

The only thing that bothered be was sometimes the rush from one thing to the next one. Some more breathing room would have been nice, so I could have savoured the adventure a bit more.
Profile Image for Loz.
1,371 reviews15 followers
October 25, 2018
Liked it a lot! Good story beats, relatable and interesting characters. Would love to see more in the world. Good magic system. Not queer, sadly.
Profile Image for Mary.
107 reviews1 follower
November 21, 2019
Love the folklore and the artwork is great! Perfect for young readers and introducing them to fantasy in a visual way!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 569 reviews

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