Review: The Daughters of Ys

The Daughters of Ys

I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels this year, and when I found out you could request them through NetGalley, I went a little overboard. While browsing through available titles I stumbled upon The Daughters of Ys, written by M.T. Anderson and illustrated by Jo Rioux, and immediately requested a copy.

I was drawn to this graphic novel because of the beautiful cover, and ended up loving the story overall. I didn’t realize, but it’s based on ancient Breton folklore (there is more information on the inside back cover for different versions of the story).

It follows two sisters, Rozenn and Dahut, who are princesses of the city of Ys. After their mother dies they part ways and deal with their grief in very different ways. Rozenn, who is one with nature, leaves the palace to live in the moors. Dahut stays at home to follow her mother’s footsteps more closely and practices magic; she also does her father’s bidding to ensure the city remains powerful and prosperous. However, she gets carried away with her magic, and makes a fatal error one night that results in destruction and loss.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was much darker than I thought it would be, but the illustrations were stunning. The Daughters of Ys was powerful and emotional, and leaves you with much to think about after finishing it.

If you’re interested in folklore, I highly suggest picking up a copy of this graphic novel. It’s full of love and loss, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Thank you to the publisher, First Second Books, for providing me a digital copy via NetGalley. The Daughters of Ys comes out on August 11, 2020, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

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