Cover Image: The Daughters of Ys

The Daughters of Ys

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Member Reviews

This is a retelling of an ancient Breton folktale and it’s very clear from every detail that this story is dipped in Celtic folklore.

Before I go on, I want to clarify this is not a children’s book. I thought it was for some reason, but I learned very quickly that was not the case.

The Daughters of Ys is a dark and haunting tale about two half-fae sisters heirs to an Atlantis-inspired kingdom created by their own amazingly powerful mother, Queen Malgven.

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

She was from a Fae realm and died in her mission of giving them magic to rule and protect Ys, a city where horrors lurk just beaneath the waves.

"Living exacts such a high cost on us all."

Each character deals with her death in their own way. Both sisters start off as close but eventually their differences become too highlighted in their grief to ignore.

Rozzen, the wild one, is more fae than human. She longs for freedom and nature, hiding away in the moors at any opportunity, favouring star gazing and communion with wild animals than life at court.

Dahut is the youngest but since her sister neglects her duties, someone has to be the responsible one and do what’s needed. She surprised me as a character and I enjoyed it immensely. She’s also absolutely stunning and each gown was better than the next. Jo Rioux, the illustrator, did an amazing job and the comic would be nothing without her.

I just want to register my gratitude as this took me out of a reading slump. It contains a lot of things I find fascinating in a story: murder, sorcery, the fae folk, mythical legend, ethereal women, melancholy, a character yearning for more, pacts with otherworldly beings… I just had a great time.

I won’t dwell on the plot to avoid major spoilers but what I can say is that this is a story about the extent people will go to keep magic, luxury and power for themlseves.

"We live by devouring those we love."

After all, magic has a price. And it might be more costly than most of us can bear.
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This was such a wonderful reimagining of a folklore story!

The imagery was wonderful, and the message woven within the story was a powerful one.
It took me a while in the beginning to get into the story and scenery, but this might be due to the fact that I rarely read a graphic novel.

In the end, it was a page-turner for me, and I can highly recommend this to anyone who loves retellings, folklore and fairytales.
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Thanks to First Second Books and Netgalley for the digital ARC.

This is an interesting take on an old legend. The story is good with solid pacing and the artwork is an interesting style. For those who like fairy tales I would recommend it and I think M.T. Anderson has does a wonderful job on their telling of this story.
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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 all that was described. There were a few moments that flowed nicely with the illustrations shown, I can't say there weren't, but not as much as I knew there could be.

The story though, did keep me reading, even if certain sections left much to be desired. It was as if there was a split in storytelling when it came to this novel. There were times I was taken in by the things happening in front of me, then others that either felt forced, or left me wanting more of an explanation. If there is another volume, I hope there are at least some redeeming qualities (in most characters), including details.

***I received this copy from First Second, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Huge thank you to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review*

Rozenn and Dahut are the two daughters of a king and his powerful wife, Lady Malgven. After the sudden passing of Lady Malgven, the king and his two daughters are left to grieve. As each processes their loss separately, they grow apart and bitter towards each other. Rozenn grows to love nature, and solitude. She all but abandons her post as heir to the throne and lives a simple, almost naive lifestyle. Dahut takes on her mother’s magic, learning the mysteries behind the veil and seducing those who show interest. The king drowns himself in earthly pleasures, and is overall a hollowed version of himself. As the family is faced with sudden challenges, each handle them separately, which ultimately leads to profound loss and unhappiness between all of them.

Okay, so wow. I loved everything about this. The story was magical, dark, and mysterious. It left me wanting to know more about everything. The illustrations were so lush and breathtaking, I’ve read this probably three or four times just to enjoy them. I will give fair warning, this is not a happy go lucky type of book, so keep that in mind. But if you tend to enjoy traditional folklore and darker themes, then this is the book for you. I do have to say, I didn’t like the king one bit and that never changed throughout the book, and I wish it had a more satisfactory ending when it came to him. But overall, it was a spectacular book, one that I know I will pick up time and time again.
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★★✰✰✰ 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 undeveloped, most of the dialogues are choppy and stilted. The story would have benefitted from focusing more on the girl's childhood rather than flashing forward to them as young adults. The plot as such is predictable. The inclusion of 'beheadings' seemed an attempt at darkness...but I didn't find the storyline to be all that atmospheric. The random bad guy at the end made little sense.
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This was a tragic, deeply disturbing story, in a good way. It was bloody and brutal in it's lack of empathy to outsiders.
The art wasn't entirely my cup of tea, but it's definitely made for the story.
If you want magic, sacrifices, tragic and the complications of loyalty, family and responsibility, look no further.
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Based on a Celtic folklore and has similar story line to the lost city of Atlantis but different This is a very intriguing and entertaining graphic novel. King Gradlon created the most beautiful city of Ys, also known as the city of pleasures through his wife’s magic. They have 2 daughters, Rozenn and Dahut. The wife dies mysteriously and the daughters blame the king for overworking their mother. She got older the more he demanded of her to create something. The two daughters grow up but grow apart. The younger one Dahut tries to learn her mothers magic, seduces and beheads young men. Rozenn the older sister is known to be the heiress falls in love with a commoner or fisherman. Without giving away too much, there is betrayal, nudity, demise of the most powerful and beautiful city. There is so much to this story that I truly enjoyed. This is a highly fantastical world and I absolutely enjoyed it. Thank you to NetGalley and First Second Books for providing me with a copy! The illustrations were equally as good as the story. Graphic novels like these make me want to keep reading them.
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The artwork is beautiful and reminds me of the video game Child of Light (which I adore). 

The story is engaging and I read it in one sitting because I wanted to know what happens!

There are some sexy scenes although nothing overt. 

My one complaint would be I wished it was longer with some scenes with the girls with their mother.
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I really enjoyed this adaptation of a Breton folktale. It captures the whimsy and darker moods of such tales perfectly in both the way the story is told and the artwork. I love how the personalities of the daughters is clear right from the beginning and how real their choices feel to them. They're not sketches or stand-ins, but people trying to do their best despite the circumstances they find themselves in. Ultimately, the most interesting thing isn't the magic or the fae or the art (which is gorgeous and the perfect accompaniment to the tale), but about the sisters and their relationship -- the tragedy of their mother's death pushing them apart and into completely different emotional worlds. I highly recommend this, with the caveat that there is no happy endings in tales of ancient dark magic.
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This was a fabulously disturbing and beautifully illustrated folklore. The colors were breathtaking and superbly suitable for setting an ancient celtic/breton feel. It was gory and dark and a little nonsensical and I adored it.
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The artwork in this book was BEAUTIFUL. I loved the color palette so much. The story was unexpected and exciting and ended on a note that suggests further novels to come, which I enjoyed. I like how folklore was adapted to make the story feel relatable through a modern lens despite the setting, while still remaining true to the age-old take. If you're looking for something short, lovely, and intriguing to read, this is definitely the book for you.
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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 the versions the author listed at the end of the graphic novel. 

Thanks to First Second Books for the ARC! I'll definitely be buying a physical copy of this one when it comes out.
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This book is based on an old legend.  It was thoroughly weird.  A woman builds her husband the King a seaside place that is grand and beautiful.  They have two daughters and continue to grow their kingdom until the Queen passes away.  The daughters were close in childhood but as they mature they drift apart.  The dark haired daughter wants a simple life with a farm boy.  The red headed daughter wants all the trappings of being a princess.  But they come at a cost.  There is evil lurking. This graphic novel has intrique, beheadings, sex candles, and all the sea monsters a person could want.  It was very interesting and a legend this reader had never heard of before.
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The art in this graphic novel is gorgeous, it’s exactly the whimsical kind I love, and the color palette is beautiful. The story is based on a Breton myth I didn’t know of, but will read about definitely. Two sisters, Rozenn and Dahut, grew up together in the magical city of Ys, which was raised from the ocean by their Faerie mother, and is now ruled by their father. After the death of their mother, the elder Rozenn leaves the court to live a simple life in nature, and Dahut stays at court, enjoying intrigue and splendor, and continuing her mother’s work of keeping the city of Ys alive by any means necessary. But the king is old and dying, and his heir has left the court, so the fate of Ys depends on the bond of the two princesses. A beautiful folk tale with gorgeous illustrations which take your breath away.
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This is an enchanting, at the same time haunting, graphic novel not just bec of the ethereal and otherworldly art style (which I absolutely loved!) but also bec of grim and surprisingly adult themes of the story. I say surprisingly, bec I didn't exactly thought this would feature sex and murder (among other things) when I requested it based on the cover, but it's there. It's unapologetic in the presentation of the dark themes too, which made it even more entertaining for me.

Based on a version of an old Celtic legend, The Daughters of Ys tells a story of sisters living in the royal palace of Ys, a kingdom founded on magic, greed and betrayal. It starts with a simple request from a magical woman appearing from the sea, for a man to kill her wizard husband - something I thought was v common in fairy tales - but then the story steadily progresses into wicked territory as the characters show more of themselves.

I liked how flawed every single character is, from Dahut's naivety, to Rozenn's evilness, to their father's ultimate monstrosity, no one is safe from blame for the destruction of their world. 

I would've wanted more explanation on the magic of this world, and I especially am craving for more of Lady Mdgver and her full powers, but I understand it would disrupt the rather perfectly paced story. I also want more of what happens after, like I get why it ended the way it did, but still I want more of Rozenn and Dahut. Maybe on a prequel or sequel? LOL.

I recommend this for lovers of fantasy and dark stories, and I will definitely buy and read more books set in this world.

*The eARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. It doesn't affect my opinion of the book. Thank you.
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Gorgeous illustrations give new life to this retold Celtic legend by M. T. Anderson. The Daughters of Ys follows a family from conception, through the death of the powerful matriarch, and to the demise of the father as two daughters forge very different paths, both riddled with difficult truths. Despite the gentle appearance of the cover art, the story is dark and works well as an upper-teen/adult crossover pick. Fans of fairy tales, folklore, and Atlantean mythology will devour this one. Recommended.
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''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 the moors, away from the machinations and the extravagance of the court, and the other retaining her mother's gift for miracles and the darkest kind of witchcraft. 

''We live by devouring those we love. How can we help it? They're the ones within closest reach.''

Based on a Breton folktale, this is the wonderful story of the city of Ys, a city of marvels, sin and hidden terrors. Above all, it is the story of two sisters, so different and, yet, so alike, and their fight to fulfill their destiny. Witchcraft, bravery, obsession, betrayal. Doubts and the fear of carrying out an unwelcome duty. The struggle to keep the faith in yourself alive and the flame of hope that may seem out of reach. Both sisters are extraordinary characters with traits that will be familiar to all of us and weaknesses that are necessary to bring balance and drive their actions forward. Even if the dialogue is a bit off from time to time, the beautiful illustrations and the heart-pounding plot will not disappoint you. 

And on a superficial note, Dahut is given the most magnificently outstanding array of green gowns ever!

''There is no trace of Ys, though sometimes fishermen say they hear the bells of the sunken steeples ringing in the deep, rocked by the tides. Or the singing of a maiden beneath the waves.''

Many thanks to First Second Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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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.
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Beautiful retelling of an old English legend not often retold. This is not a happy story but still a terrific atmospheric reading experience. The words and art work beautifully together to tell this story of love, cruelty, passion, sin, excess and the consequences of our decisions and actions. A very moving story.
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