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Sleepless #1-6

Sleepless, Vol. 1

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Lady "Poppy" Pyppenia is guarded by the Sleepless Knight Cyrenic, but becomes endangered when an assassin threatens her life in the new king's reign. As Poppy and Cyrenic try to discover who wants her dead, they must navigate the dangerous waters of life at court, and of their growing feelings for one another.

Collects issues 1-6.

168 pages, Paperback

First published July 10, 2018

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About the author

Sarah Vaughn

63 books110 followers
Sarah Vaughn is an artist, writer, over-thinker. She's penciled Sparkshooter and is currently working with Jonathan Luna on Alex + Ada for Image Comics.

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5 stars
1,344 (40%)
4 stars
1,415 (42%)
3 stars
484 (14%)
2 stars
51 (1%)
1 star
8 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 670 reviews
Profile Image for Riley.
424 reviews20.8k followers
September 4, 2018
it has been a while since i read a graphic novel that i just fell in love with.
i really hope there are more issues of this soon
court intrigue + assassination plots + tender romance between the king's illegitimate daughter and her bodyguard + adorable pet fox
Profile Image for Calista.
3,803 reviews31.2k followers
September 22, 2019
I love going to a book store or library and seeing staff picks. Very often, there are great stories on display there. I was looking around my library and the past few times in there I say this story by staff at the BCPL. I picked it up. It was a good story.

This is a fantasy story in a Kingdom with magic. A knight can take a vow to protect someone and the knight will no longer be able to sleep. The knight can guard 24 hours a day. I thought that was a very cool plot device.

Our main story follows a princess and her sleepless knight. Her father died and her mother is in another land. She is now trapped at her uncles court and her life is in danger.

This is a great fantasy series. I enjoyed it and I hope there is a 2nd volume.
Profile Image for Shadowdenizen.
829 reviews35 followers
May 9, 2018
(Read as single issues.)
4.5 stars, happily rounded up.

I think this is one of my favorite new titles, and am bummed that I have to wait until SEPTEMBER for more.

For my money, this title should be getting readership that reaches "Saga" levels.

This is a low-key, charming fantasy tale with a focus on the characters (including a strong female protagonist) and some adept world-building woven in, and is (to my mind) accessible even to the non-fantasy readers out there.

And between this, "Eternal Empire" and "Alex + Ada", Sarah Vaughan is quickly becoming one of my favorite comic creators out there!!
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
November 4, 2018
An historical fantasy graphic comics series, volume one, by the co-creator of Alex + Ada, Sarah Vaughan, illustrated by Leila del Duca. Princess Pyppenia (Poppy)is the “illegitimate” daughter of a recently deceased king, and someone wants to kill her. Her protector is Cyrenic, a member of a “sleepless” order; they don’t sleep, right, they are 24/7 protection. Her uncle, the new king, keeps her from returning to her home, Mribesh, and forces her to hang with his daughter, the next Queen. Poppy and Cyrenic in the first volume would seem to have “complicated” feelings for each other, but there are class issues to surmount, or not.

Historical fantasy is generally not my cuppa, but I am reading another one, Monstress. Sleepless is simpler on all levels, which is maybe both good and bad news. Monstress has (too) many (for me) levels of world-building that I have a hard time following; I basically just ignore some of the political backstories; Sleepless doesn’t work that hard at the world-building. There’s not much background—yet?—about the sleepless order, or any of the history. Monstress ranges in tone from cute (little animals) to profane and bloody violent; Sleepless is quieter, more conventional, not too many highs or lows (and a cute fox pet, Bini, similar to the one in Monstress). Sana Takeda is an award-winner for Monstress, with an insane level of invention and detailed backgrounds; del Duca’s work is pretty, but many of the backgrounds are not filled in, and the level of invention or innovation is low. Again, different strokes, convention vs. invention; simple vs. complex.

I like Sleepless’s court intrigue, I like Poppy and Cyrenic and their low buzz of electricity so far, I like it that there’s some indication that Cyrenic’s role might soon change, and I like the cliffhanger at the end. I’ll say 3 1/4 stars, but I bet I keep reading,
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,326 reviews1,017 followers
May 12, 2019
1st read - March 2019
2nd read - May 2019

Poppy is the daughter of the former king and now that her uncle has been crowned her place in court is very precarious. She may be the old king's illegitimate child but in her mother's distant land she is still considered a princess and therefore has a lot of support, something the new king is not very happy about. Forced to stay at the court by her uncle the only person she can truly rely on is her Sleepless Knight Cyrenic, a man pledged to protect her for the rest of his life. Poppy just wants to keep her head down until she can be reunited with her mother but when an assassin attacks she quickly realises that life in court is far more dangerous than ever before.

This was a really fabulous start to the Sleepless series, I'm intrigued by the characters and the court politics and I really want to know more about the Sleepless Knights and how they survive with no sleep. Poppy and Cyrenic are great characters and I love the hint of tension between them, the sparks are definitely starting to fly and I hope they can find a way to be together in spite of the taboo status of a relationship between them.

We are never overloaded with too much background and history so this story was a very easy read, I still have a lot of questions about things but I'm sure they will be answered slowly throughout the series. Leila del Duca's artwork is gorgeous, she uses lots of bright and bold colours that make her drawings really eye-catching and it fits Sarah Vaughn's story perfectly. I have to give the series bonus points for the diversity too. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing this series.

Profile Image for Lata.
3,509 reviews187 followers
March 6, 2019
I was sucked in immediately by this fantasy story about the illegitimate daughter of a former king, Princess Pyppenia (Poppy), and her Sleepless protector knight, Cyrenic. Poppy has assassins after her after her uncle is crowned King. Her uncle prevents her returning to Mribesh, her home, and safety, instead ordering her to spend time with the legitimate princess, his daughter, who will eventually be Queen. Poppy and Cyrenic try to figure out who's attempting to kill her, while Cyrenic is starting to relive old memories as vivid waking dreams, to "drift", which is a sign that a Sleepless knight is starting to lose his ability to function.
The artwork is beautiful, and I liked the story, which though not complicated, is well told. Poppy's smart and determined, and her pet fox Bini is cute.
Profile Image for Francina Simone.
Author 10 books2,105 followers
February 12, 2019
Damn it legit left me on that cliffhanger?!?!

So two part review: writing and art.

I thought the writing was phenomenal! The plot and pacing of the story was on point and I was drawn into this world from the very first few pages. It’s highly political yet I never felt like I was drowning in the world building. A+ work!

I’m not a huge fan of the art style, I like more smooth and cute lines and brighter/saturated colors BUT the artistic storytelling was amazing! I love it when the art can tell the story without words because that to me is mind blowing!

Totally would recommend this to anyone that likes fantasy politics with some hints of romance 😍
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 16 books296 followers
October 31, 2018
Court intrigue, assassination plots, magical cursed soldiers, gorgeous lush art, tender but possibly doomed romance... this graphic novel is so good! Centered on Lady Pyppenia, known as Poppy, the illegitimate daughter of the recently deceased king, as she finds herself in a precarious political position with the new king, her uncle. Her protector Cyrenic is one of the Sleepless, knights who accept a magical curse that allows them to stay awake twenty-four hours a day, but with a cost of eventual mental collapse or coma. Poppy is increasingly hedged in by her uncle's demands, Cyrenic and Poppy's feelings for each other are starting to hit the no-more-pretending zone, neither of them know who to trust, eek! I cannot WAIT for a next volume of this, especially given the cliffhanger at the end. Perfect medieval-esque fantasy, with delicious pining.
Profile Image for Emily.
694 reviews2,004 followers
June 16, 2020
I loved this so much on my second read that I went from four stars to five. This has everything: interesting world-building! Great characters! Gorgeous art! A tight plot! Beautiful dresses! An amazing animal companion! This would work for anyone who likes fantasy or romance, even if they don't read very many graphic novels.

The end of this volume is shockingly good. Let's hope the momentum carries through to the next.
Profile Image for menna.
314 reviews288 followers
April 15, 2020
okay this was not as romance heavy as i thought it would be but i still loved it so much!
it has the prettiest art style and a really interesting plot and i am so excited to read the next volume especially after that ending!!
June 16, 2019

THIS is the kind of #BlackGirlPrincessMagic everyone needs in their lives right now!!! The artwork alone has me wanting to give this ten stars. I mean LOOK at it! Look at how beautiful this couple is. You can tell from the hero's expression that he's ready to protect her at all costs.

This fed my love of everything magical, political intrigue, diverse world-building and swoon worthy romance all in one.

The Lady Pyppenia (known as Poppy) is the out of wedlock daughter of the former king who only wants to live a quiet life out of the watchful and judgemental eye of the court who believe she plans to make a bid for the throne. She's protected by the handsome Sleepless knight Cyrenic. The Sleepless are exactly that - an order of knights who take an extraordinary vow to remain awake and ever vigilant until they are released from their charge. It's not something to be taken lightly, since the effects of never sleeping for years on end becomes dangerous.

Unfortunately someone is out to kill Poppy, and it's up to her and Cyrenic to discover who, all the while fighting their growing passion for one another.
Profile Image for Joel.
553 reviews1,600 followers
August 9, 2018
Slightly slow but intriguing start to a gorgeous new fantasy series. I loved the character work, and the worldbuilding is really well-handled, deft, assured, and free of infodumps. Eager to see where it goes.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 68 books955 followers
May 20, 2019
This book felt intoxicating to read. Creepy-cool dark magic, dangerous courtly intrigue, swoonworthy romance - this story is SO my jam! Add in gorgeous, lush, vibrant artwork and I just felt like I was floating as I read - it thrilled me SO much.

I loved the romance between Lady Poppy (the illegitimate daughter of the last king, who has been left in great danger at court after her father's death) and her sleepless knight, Sir Cyrenic - but I also really loved all the different relationships among women in this book, and particularly the fascinating arc of the tense relationship between Poppy and the new king's daughter. The worldbuilding, too, is so fabulous and intriguing, with so many great hints at exactly how the different kinds of magic and cultures work. And although this is the first in a two-book series, the ending of this volume is just PERFECT - as in, exactly the most amazing ending it could possibly have for this first arc, and a perfect set up for Volume 2 (the final volume in the series). I cannot wait to read it!

If you love Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion books - or any of my own romantic fantasies for adults - I honestly think you'll love this graphic novel too, whether or not you're a regular graphic novel reader. If you get it, do try to get it in paper, though - you really don't want to miss out on just what a gorgeous object this whole book is!
Profile Image for Skip.
3,249 reviews393 followers
March 7, 2019
Having really enjoyed Vaughn's Alex + Ada graphic novels, I had high hopes for this new story. Lady Pyppenia (Poppy), the illegitimate daughter of the recently deceased king, finds herself as a pawn in the court of the new king, her uncle. Her bodyguard, handsome Cyrenic, is one of the Sleepless: knights who accept a magical curse allowing them to stay awake twenty-four hours a day, eventually causing physical or mental collapse. Someone is out to kill her, as their feelings for one another ripen. A bit less interesting than the other series, but well illustrated.
Profile Image for Meagan.
333 reviews171 followers
September 21, 2018
This was so good! The ending was crazy! Like why would you do that, Poppy? 😕 I know tensions were high but....I can't wait until the next one!
Profile Image for Sara the Librarian.
739 reviews317 followers
January 24, 2019
Woo hoo this was really fun! I love some good ol' fashioned court intrigue with just a dash of magic thrown in and then to make this extra awesome you've also got just killer illustrations and an gorgeous, multi ethnic cast of intriguing characters and just a tiny morsel of exquisite forbidden romance. Annnnnnddd there's a fox!!!!

The king has died in the kingdom of Harbeny and his brother sits on the throne. With the former king's death Lady "Poppy" Pyppenia, his illegitimate but much loved daughter, has been left to navigate the treacherous waters of the court alone save for her loyal "sleepless" knight Cyrenic. Cyrenic is part of an ancient order that has protected the kings and queens of Harbeny for 600 years. They take a vow of sleeplessness, swearing to protect their charges every moment of every day and night until death or the vow be broken the one they've sworn to protect.

Just as the new king is crowned three attempts are made on Poppy's life. Poppy has no idea who to trust and little hope of convincing her uncle whose is the hand guiding the assassins with only Cyrenic's support. As if that wasn't difficult enough its very obvious that the knight and his mistress are harboring not so secret feelings for each other.

Also there's a fox.

I really, really loved this. Its full of intrigue and romance and sumptuous drawings and some very, very lovely world building.

Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,136 reviews171 followers
December 30, 2018
This fantasy series has a solid and tantalizing start. While a little too heavy on court intrigue, there is enough action and romance to leave me hoping the second volume's release date is not too far away. The artist really helps set the tone and drive the story along dynamically.
Profile Image for jenny✨.
563 reviews783 followers
July 21, 2020
So... Poppy is The Most Gorgeous Person I Have Ever Seen.

You've heard of compulsively readable traditional novels. Compulsively watchable movies/TV. What's the term for a graphic novel??? Because that's what Poppy makes Sleepless omfg

Also that ENDING 😭😭😭😭 Reminds me of what happens to Jared and Kami (gosh I love these two) in Untold
Profile Image for Emily.
1,713 reviews37 followers
August 7, 2018
I’m swooning right now, kids. I’m having a hard time expressing myself beyond sighs, and I’m not sure how one spells a sigh. Is it just a bunch of h’s? Like Hhhhhhhhh? That doesn’t look right.
I also don’t know how to spell the sound of falling over (I know you think I covered “falling over” when I swooned, but imagine, if you will, a person swooning, then lying on the floor sighing, then getting back in her chair, and then falling out of it) because now I have to wait before I can read more about Poppy, Bini, and Cerenic and Vaughn’s strange world where time is magical and dangerous.
So swoons, sighs and falling over—that’s how I feel about this series after reading the first volume.
Profile Image for Trin.
1,749 reviews549 followers
November 10, 2018
Beautiful art, great characters, interesting world-building, MEGA SEXUAL TENSION.

-Poppy is wise and beautiful and strong without being a fighter.
-Cyrenic has sort of a tragic Bucky Barnes thing going on, I'm into it, natch.
-Female friendships! Lots and lots of cliche-defying positive female friendships!
-I want a fennec fox for a pet; Poppy, girl, you have the best taste in pets, clothes, and men. I applaud you.
-Please give me volume two.
Profile Image for nitya.
353 reviews269 followers
July 29, 2019

Profile Image for Wing Kee.
2,091 reviews37 followers
September 18, 2018
Great art but a cliche ridden story made for an aight read.

World: The art is fantastic, it’s stylish and the characters are expressive and full of emotion. The link between the script and the art is done incredibly well with a lot of the unspoken words and emotions coming through in the art. However the lack of any splash pages and the action (when there was any) not being very kinetic did make those parts of it weak. The world building is okay, it’s a bit patchy and readers are thrown into the world with no info or context page or anyone in the characters that is the info dumper to inform readers of this world. Therefore the magic (if any, unclear at the moment), the countries, the politics are a bit vague. I also saw a lack of detail in the backgrounds in the art, the characters were great but the backgrounds felt rather bland and just like any middle age book I’ve picked up, nothing to set it apart from the pack.

Story: The story is well written, it’s well paced and the overall narrative is interesting. That being said this narrative has been done so many times that it is a cliche. This genre of book is not as common in comc books but the Teen/YA section of a bookstore is choking with these court mysteries starring a female that is caught inside the kingdom and trying to be herself and find her way while assasins and plots are afoot. This is that, it’s solidly dont but it’s that. If the world building had been more interesting it would have set the book apart from the pack but the story itself does not do that. I did enjoy it though and I will continue but I don’t feel a need to follow this monthly.

Characters: I like Poppy, she’s done so well through the art and her emotions and personality is largely formed by the beautiful character art as are the rest of the characters. Were it not for the art and the personality it conveyed these characters would have had little to no development but rather fell back to standard genre cliches (the Empathetic main character, the haughty spoilt princess, the brave knight, the evil prince from a different country, the impulsive and unwise king...on and on and on). Poppy is fun but she is not entirely original but that’s okay if the character are written well and Poppy herself is fine, the rest is pretty thin. It is a first book so I will give it time, but being a book of quite moments and small whispers instead of large action sequences the characters need work.

It was good, a different type of book that the comic book format needs, but it did have it’s flaws.

Onward to the next book!

Profile Image for Kadi P.
756 reviews94 followers
July 4, 2022
For the most part this was your average YA fantasy/royalty pseudo-romance. Not bad, but it had the potential to be so much more.

Despite finding it enjoyable, it didn’t do anything new or interesting with its unique elements. I felt as though it squandered its chances to stand out from the hundreds of other royalty/romance books and graphic novels that flood the YA genre.

The characters were interesting but too tame. The backstabbing and drama usually found at court was readily substituted with cute moments and even the assassination attempts seemed subdued. The mystery was basic and almost all of the plot was setting up for the final few pages of the last issue—the only part that really made me sit up and pay attention. So, if not for the ending, I would’ve rated this 3 stars. But, thanks to the ending, I’m interested in reading Sleepless, Vol. 2!

(Recommended by Robert)
Profile Image for mo.
198 reviews91 followers
August 6, 2018
4.5 stars.

A promising first volume with gorgeous art, complex political maneuvering, and well-realized characters. I can't wait to read the next chapters in this story.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 670 reviews

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