Saturday, August 13, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: The Last Dragon

Media Type: Graphic Novel
Title: The Last Dragon
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Rebecca Guay
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Pages: Hardcover; 144
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Source: NetGalley

Master storyteller Jane Yolen (Owl Moon, Sword of the Rightful King) and celebrated fantasy artist Rebecca Guay (Swamp Thing, Magic: The Gathering) weave a textured and lyrical tale of adventure, homelands, and heroism the hard way.

Two hundred years ago, humans drove the dragons from the islands of May. Now, the last of the dragons rises to wreak havoc anew-with only a healer's daughter and a kite-flying would-be hero standing in its way.

The Last Dragon could have been drawn from the pages of Grimm's Fairy Tales. To focus first on the illustrations, Rebecca Guay has earned her rightful place in my hall of amazing fantasy artists. Her illustrations are delicate, intricate, and flowing. It is impossible not to notice them as you read. I loved how they seemed to move and writhe on the page, and I can't deny that I fell in love from the very first panel. If I had to choose my favorite part of this graphic novel, it would absolutely be the illustrations.

As far as the story goes, it is simplistic in the best way possible. Paired with illustrations that bring it to life, Jane Yolen shares the story of a witty young girl and a deceptive hero. I adored Tansy and her story! A dragon hatches and begins to torment her home. Of course the men believe they need a hero, and set off to find one in another city. What they get, well....he isn't quite a hero. However Tansy brings out the best in him, and they save the day. Sound like your typical fairy tale? You are correct. It's absolute perfection. For me, the one thing that was missing was just length. I really wanted to know more. 

I think the humor in this book is well placed, albeit a little bit more geared toward young readers. I giggled at the anachronistic way a young boy yelled "Cool!" in one the panels. I think this is a perfect graphic novel for middle grade students who are trying to branch out. There is very mild fantasy violence, and it is such a positive story. Highly recommended!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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