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The Daughters of Ys

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,385 ratings  ·  508 reviews
An Atlantis-like city from Celtic legend is the setting of this mythical graphic novel fantasy re-imagining the classic Breton folktale of love, loss, and rebirth, revealing the secrets that lie beneath the surface..

Ys, city of wealth and wonder, has a history of dark secrets. Queen Malgven used magic to raise the great walls that keep Ys safe from the tumultuous sea. But
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 11th 2020 by First Second
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  2,385 ratings  ·  508 reviews

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Amalia Gkavea
''For you, I will build walls to push back the sea and will spin you a palace of domes and towers.''

Lady Malgrev of the Faerie Folk comes to the rescue of a brave, young prince. Through her powerful spells, they succeed in creating a mythical city and a beautiful family. But greed is a sickness and the Faerie Folk becomes weaker as the Old Ways disappear. With their mother passing away, the two princesses have to rely on their own abilities and gifts. Rozann and Dahut. One wild, dwelling in
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
We live by devouring those we love. How can we help it? They’re the ones within closest reach.

Magic, sea monsters, seduction and betrayal, this book has it all. The Daughters of Ys by M.T. Anderson and beautifully illustrated by Jo Rioux is a really delightful graphic adaptation updating a traditional Breton legend about a city, Ys, that sunk into the sea. Anderson draws upon various versions of the legend including popular ballads and operatic versions, combining elements and expanding upon c
★★✰✰✰ 2 stars

Jo Rioux's illustrations are wonderful. M.T. Anderson's writing...not so much. The Daughters of Ys is your basic fantasy story that follows two magical sisters, daughters of the king and queen of a generic fantasy land. Their magical mother dies, the two sisters fight, skip forward a few years and one is all things good (prancing in the countryside) while the other one is all things bad (vain, a 'flirt'). There is no world-building, the relationship between the sisters is undevelop
Mel (Epic Reading)
An old story Celtic story retold as a graphic novel. I had high hopes for this retelling and sadly it wasn’t quite as I hoped.
The art is mediocre and didn’t capture my attention. I can’t figure out why the sea monster looks like the main character in Where the Wild Things Are. The girls faces are shaped very asymmetrically and just don’t do it for me. The colours are nice and overall the look and feel is good but the actual art details felt off.

The story was very good but as it’s a legend that
Like many folk tales I’ve read, there is a lot of violence and betrayal happening. And terrible, supernatural bargains that come due.
I thought that, enjoyable as it was, the ending felt somewhat truncated and glossed over. And dissatisfying.
I really liked the ending of that for some reason.
Megan ❀
Nov 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was intensely sinister. It's my fault for not looking more carefully into this graphic novel before checking it out from the library. The cover art gave me Over the Garden Wall vibes and I briefly skimmed the synopsis, so my expectations were completely wrong. I wasn't at all prepared for such a dark story, and so my reading experience ending up being really uncomfortable. I don't think this is a bad graphic novel by any means, but I was so wholly unprepared to read it that I just did not e ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
A re-told fairytale from early Britain. Like many fairytales, the characters are somewhat one dimensional- there is an ailing and worthless king who married a fairy woman who died young, and now has two daughters. The older rejects the extravagant life of the city of Ys to live simply in the country side, befriending hermits and fishermen. The younger studies her mother's books of spells and takes on the terrible contract needed to fuel Ys's magic- which involves seducing and murdering men. But ...more
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
MT Anderson is CONSTANTLY doing shit where I read the description and I'm like "well who wants to read that" and then I read it anyway because it's MT Anderson and then I'm like "ok me I guess" but I do think this would be a hard sell to most...teens? Like I feel like the target audience here is...people who are already fans of MT Anderson, or people who are fans of Breton mythology, I guess??

Anyway once you get here, it's gorgeous and sharp, but just...............who is this for? I do not kno
Kaethe Douglas
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I'm so looking forward to this.


Oh, my. That wasn't what I was expecting. That is dark and cold and beautifully drawn. While the art has nothing in common, the story feels closer to Emily Carroll than anything else I can bring to mind. There are some disturbing images that are never going to leave my brain.

This isn't a story I was previously familiar with. Maybe the Arthur legend isn't Celtic, and I can't be bothered to look, but for the first time I feel like I get it. Now I'm wondering what
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get lost in this book, despite the story constantly fading into sea foam. ...more
Rod Brown
Dec 25, 2020 rated it liked it
With way more sex and violence than I usually associate with First Second books, this one is definitely aimed at the YA or adult market. And yet it is a sort of simple fairy tale about sibling rivalry between princess sisters and the lengths to which one of them is willing to go to protect their kingdom.

It's fascinating for quite awhile until its fizzle of an ending. But I was unaware until the end matter, that this is based on a folktale from the Brittany region of France that I had never heard
Abbie | nerdyabbie
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it
★ 2.75 / 5 ★

Well, this definitely was an interesting read.

I loved the first line: "Your mother came from another world." I was immediately hooked. The concept was amazing, and I always adore the two sister's trope. I love dark folktales, and with the relationship between the sisters, I was expecting some glittering hope in between the depressing plot. But the execution was disappointing. Basically, everyone in this book was a terrible human except for Rozenn. I could definitely sympathize with D
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Since I was a kid, I have been fascinating with the french legend of Ys, one of our finest ancient tale. This retelling explores the character of Dahut, the princess held responsible for the fall of the great city. The author blends perfectly multiple religious and folkloric references. The artwork is stunning and expressive, reminiscent of traditional styles. The end is intense, sad and poetic. This version makes it clear that Dahut is the real victim, and by the end, she is freed. Her elder si ...more
Sydney S
First, it must be said that the art is stunning. The illustrator did a fantastic job with creating a visual world for this story. The art style fits the story perfectly! It seemed a little disjointed at times, but I really love the dark turn it took. It really picked up and things got interesting a little before the halfway point! And then everything just got worse and worse. Very emotional story. I’m not familiar with the original Breton folktale, but I enjoyed this one enough to read one of th ...more
Alexis  (TheSlothReader)
I thought the art was beautiful and I did find the story intriguing but I think the sisters, Rozenn and Dahut, lacked any real characterization beyond Goodness/purity/love and evil/sorceress/sexually impure. I'm sure this black and white characterization of the sisters comes from the mythology the story is based on, but I just found that it didn't really work for a story in this era. ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to get an ARC of The Daughters of Ys from Yallfest and let me tell y'all, this graphic novel is beautiful and heartbreaking. I'm hoping that there ends up being a sequel or companian graphic novel because I need more! ...more
Cass Moskowitz
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story itself was incredibly haunting. I fell like I was falling down a rabbithole as I was reading. The pacing and the tale of the two sisters, each with a different path, was incredibly well done. Chilling, really. It was darker and more adult than I was expecting, but still loved the journey.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was absolutely lovely. A reimagining of a classic Breton tale set in a mythological Celtic city of Ys. I wasn’t familiar with the source material prior to reading this book, it was more of a random selection from the latest the library had to offer. In fact, there are some classifications of it being YA and at first it seemed like it might have been, but as the story progresses it get appropriately dark and complex for adult readers. Overall, this was more along the lines of a classic Europ ...more
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really good! Never had heard of this Breton fairy tale before - I poked around and read a little about the original versions and am really happy about how Anderson adapted it. The art is perfect!
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, or the illustrations I was wanting to see, but that didn't mean it wasn't a story worth reading. There was still a good amount I enjoyed in here, and a pretty creepy vibe that came from the character that entered the story closer to the end. It just didn't play out as well as I felt it could have.

As mentioned, the art, sadly, didn't do much to keep my attention, or make it feel like a more realistic setting. I wanted more from a palace on the sea, with
DNF early in the story

I was actually really enjoying this story and the art style until there was nudity completely out of left field. The two sisters are talking in the garden about their recently deceased mother and then happen upon their (naked) father with two (naked) women.

No thanks. Not recommended.
Chance Lee
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Fantasy story about two sisters with gorgeous artwork, kinda like Frozen, but good!
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
*arc provided by netgalley for an honest review*

This has such beautiful artwork and a really haunting story - I ended up loving every second of it. It's a story about two sisters growing up in a seaside town that's based on an old celtic folktale and gives off frozen vibes but a lot darker. Definitely would recommend.
Mathilde Paulsen
The E-Arc The Daughters of Ys was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not altered my opinion of the book.

Rating: 4,5 stars

This was an amazing graphic novel! Based on an old Celtic legend, full of folklore and magic, how could I not love it? The artwork is absolutely stunning as well!
I was not familiar with the story of the Daughters of Ys, a retelling of a Celtic folktale about two sisters and their relationship to the city left to them by their father and mother and the legacy of that familial line.

This was fantastic dark fantasy, with beautiful artwork and images that stayed with me. Like with all good stories, the choices the sisters make are not as simple as they seem and as the story unfolds, you can see the flaws in both of their approaches to the kingdom.
Carolyn Klassen
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
The art is beautiful but the story was lack-lustre and not fleshed out. Sets up for a sequel that I'm not interested in reading. ...more
Initial thoughts 2/2/21
3 stars for the unique and lovely art style. The story is fine, and a Fairytale I was not familiar with. The two sisters could have been more fleshed out, as could have the origin of the deal. It would be easy to say that this story is simply about two sisters, one good, and one bad. But honestly it reads more like a Breton Atlantis myth to me. One sister does everything the father asks no matter how terrible, and the other ignores what is happening until it is to late. Th
The Daughters of Ys is based on a Breton tale, and includes (at least what I think is) Celtic folklore. In this story, two young women are the princesses of the mythical kingdom of Ys, the daughters of a king and a sorceress. Rozenn, the older daughter, loves solitude and a more wild life. Dahut, the younger, gains the abilities of her mother and craves the power and rule of the kingdom. Both sisters must reconcile not only their differences, but their own lives in order to save their kingdom an ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
**Thank you to the author and the publisher for providing a free eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.**

The Daughters of Ys is a graphic retelling of an ancient Breton folktale, and in this it stay pretty true to the tone and the style of delivery of folktales, particularly of Breton/Celtic origin. It is dark, filled with magic, and doesn’t really have a happy ending. If those aren’t things you look for in a story, then this book is probably not for you. However, I grew up with these
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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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