I received an eARC from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the subjugated Ornu people, Knighthood is her only path to full citizenship. Ravaged by famine and mounting tensions, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again, so Aiza can finally enlist in the competitive Squire training program.
It’s not how she imagined it, though. Aiza must navigate new friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the unyielding General Hende, all while hiding her Ornu background. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the “greater good” that Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in greater danger than she ever imagined.
In this breathtaking and timely story, Aiza will have to choose, once and for all: loyalty to her heart and heritage, or loyalty to the Empire.
Squire is a young adult fantasy graphic novel about Aiza, a young girl who joins the empire’s army for the adventure that her small-town life doesn’t provide. She meets new people, trains, and learns what she truly believes in.
I loved the art style of this! It fit the story perfectly! I especially how the more intricate clothing/armor looked! The action sequences, training or otherwise, were easy to follow in tis art style.
Aiza was such a good main character. She was tiny and furious but also unsure about what to do with her life. I loved her and the friends she made. There was one character I wanted to hear a little more from, bit otherwise they were all pretty fleshed out.
By far my favorite part was how this graphic novel explored propaganda and how armies take advantage of the disadvantaged. Those ideas are sprinkled in the whole time and just grow and grow up until the climax.
The ending confused me as to what the cast would go on to do next. I won’t say any more because spoilers, but after the climax, it just wasn’t clear whether the characters were going with one route or another.
I rated this 3.75 stars! Definitely pick this up if you’re a fan of fantasy graphic novels!
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