Cover Image: Squire

Squire

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed it for the girl power aspect and wanted to show that you don’t have to be the biggest or meanest person or whatever to be the best out there, but that sometimes you just have to be the kindest and the one who is most just. But this dragged for me. I don’t know why? Maybe I just didn’t like Hende and didn’t like that I knew she couldn’t be trusted and that threw me off. I’m not sure. Or maybe I just also don’t like war. That’s also possible. Can’t rule that out. But I did like a lot about it.

Another thing I really love is when authors and illustrators will take the time at the end of a graphic to explain the process. I think it adds another layer to it that readers, especially young readers, really gravitate towards. I know I do!
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An intriguing world with fresh characters--I loved getting to see females getting to try for knighthood alongside males like it wasn't a big deal. The illustrations really brought the setting and personalities to life and the story unfolded in a compelling way. Can't wait to read the next one!
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Love it! This is such a classic kind of fun. Those who loved YA fantasy before it was huge will adore this. It feels like the old quality of YA that so many of us grew up with a may lead younger YA readers to classics.
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Inspired by Arab countries’ culture and history, this upper middle-grade graphic novel features lots of knights and women with swords, while tackling important issues of colonialism, imperialism and oppression, with gorgeous illustrations. Loved it!
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This historical inspired graphic novel is so full of heart! I loved the worldbuilding and headstrong, courageous Aiza. The storyline about learning to accept and be true to yourself and finding friends who do the same was excellent, as was Aiza's journey to becoming a warrior. Definitely looking forward to seeing what this incredible creative team does next!
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A very well thought out and well written exploration of propaganda, the military industrial complex, and heroism. The characters are fantastically developed and compelling, and the world of this story is both fascinating and detailed in a way that made me want to know more and find out more. My students would really connect with Aiza and I'll be recommending this to them.
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This was cute! Some of the images were chopped slightly on my device, but I was still able to appreciate the artwork and the story was very cute. I would buy it for my younger cousins.
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Thanks to NetGalley & HarperCollins Children's Books for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

A brilliantly illustrated and written adventure story about Aiza's introduction to the world of knights and the harsh realities that come with it.

I really enjoyed the complex war themes that was prevalent in the story and it's not a typical "Character saves people, becomes knight, world-famous, the end" story. I loved the direction the story went in! Mulan comes to mind in terms of similar elements--minus the songs, of course.
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The heartfelt and charming characters absolutely make this story, which admirably balances between the systemic and the personal, between idealism and realism, and between community and individualism.
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There's few things better than a story that has girls with swords, but girls with swords reckoning with the ugly realities of war, imperialism and oppression? <i>And</i> set in a beautifully illustrated, Middle Eastern inspired world? Fantastic. Sign me up. 

The art is absolutely stunning and definitely my favorite part of <i>Squire</i>. The story itself is a pretty classic adventure story with knights. I do feel like this graphic novel is more "realistic" than other knighthood stories, when it comes to addressing propaganda and the impacts of war. It doesn't necessarily do anything "new" for the genre, outside of being far more diverse than most knight stories, which does instantly make it more interesting and complex, IMO.
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Book Summary:
Born a second-class citizen, 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 Ornu people, her only path to full citizenship. She has to hide her Ornu status in order to blend in while training as we all navigate friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the merciless General Hende. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the “greater good” Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her and that the recruits might be in more danger than she ever imagined.

Review:

Firstly I want to talk about the art, since the art of a graphic novel is a vital tool for the story. Not only is it stunning, but it is also very fitting for this story overall. I can't picture this story with a different art style honestly. It enhances everything as it should.

For the story itself, it's quite layered and interesting.  The topic of individual identity versus national unity is interesting and also very relevant to this day. And this goes beyond just Aiza as we learn more about the other recruits and their own backstories.  There are moments of foreshadowing throughout that makes you want to keep reading to know what will happen. The pacing is nicely done, particularly once we're at the training and onward. 

I want to highlight the characters because the characterization of them all is well done and they all are unique and memorable. We get pieces of their backstory in a way that blends in so well, and they develop along with the story nicely. The characters really sell this story and make it impactful. 

Overall I enjoyed reading Squire. The story is captivating and meaningful, the characters are interesting, and the artwork is beautiful. It has humor alongside the seriousness plus a little mystery to keep you reading. So if the premise at all sounds interesting to you, give it a read. 

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.
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What is the price of war? That is always the question. Aiza wants to be a knight to improve her chances of attaining a better life. Her parents know that it's a bad idea but she points out that she hasn't had a choice about people looking down on her because she's Ornu. Heck, she can't even sell apricots without riffraff harassing her. 

This is an unsettling story, one where nations use hope to sell the youth into war, and generals are more than happy to sacrifice the new blood and cannon fodder. Totally recommend, but definitely know that it's not an adventure story of grandeur.
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This is one of the best graphic novels that I've read so far this year. The story and characters were amazing and so were the coloring and artwork. This is one graphic novel that I will be recommending to everyone to check out! I will definitely be reading more work by this author as soon as possible.
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Wow, where do I begin? What a fantastically well written and designed graphic novel. Aiza's development and journey are incredibly relatable. There are so many readers I know, of all ages, who will find this story appealing. A necessary story that I can't wait to share with others.
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This was a super enjoyable graphic novel! I really enjoyed the fantasy aspect and that the story focused on a female character wanting to be a hero. I loved the characters and the discoveries they come to along the way of our story. My biggest complaint is that I wanted it to be longer. The middle of the story felt a little rushed and I could have used an additional 50 pages or so to develop the characters more.
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Not my favorite art style in a graphic novel but this was an enjoyable read! I think it had just the write about of fantastical elements but still felt like the story line was realistic
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Thank you to NetGalley for the early edownload of Squire! I ended up reading the physical version after it was published instead, but I do appreciate the option. It took me awhile to read because of my schedule and the thickness of the book intimidated me.

Squire was so fun and enjoyable! I love all the varied opinions and how clear it was that the characters all existed in the world before and after meeting. I also liked seeing the way Aiza was thought of when she was elsewhere; as in, hearing what her friends and other students thought of her. I adored her relationship with her nighttime mentor (I'm bad with remembering names and I can't find his in any of the other tags! Sorry!). I adored him in particular. I think he added a lot of depth and nuance to Aiza. I also liked the inclusion of her peer that clearly had a separate justice-system and morals. Aiza's will and sacrifice for her friends were so strong. She was such a lively, animated character. I want her to have everything and more. And I'm so proud of all her for all she went through in this.

I do think the ending was a bit rushed. I'd like to see more of this world. It's ending felt both too ambiguous and too easy. I think the art and story were incredible, but that the ending came on fast. I hope there will be more to this world.
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I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. I was drawn in by the cover that seemed to promise adventure, and the idea of a scrappy girl who wanted to become a knight. What I got was so much more than a story about a girl surviving in a man's world. 
First of all it turned out the army and the knights wasn't just a man's world, but was open equally to men and women. And on top of that the hero's Aiza looked up to weren't the heroes she'd imagined them to be. This book with its beautiful art and heroine who can't be told no, took me on a journey about knowing the difference between right and wrong, heroes and conquerors, and deciding where and how to draw the line you aren't willing to cross. It was tactfully done and an excellent read.
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With incredible art and impeccable story telling, "Squire" is a must read journey. The story follows, Aiza, who desparately wants to become a squire for a kingdom that ostracizes her cultural group. She must hide who she is from the people in charge and her new friends. With risk of another war and political schemes among the high members of the military, can Aiza rise the ranks and earn her citizenship?

This was incredibly enjoyable. I can only hope that there will be more to continue Aiza's story. I found myself entirely invested. Even this novel could have been split to balance the storyline.
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This book's stunning art and age-appropriate tale for middle grade/early YA readers examines racism, patriotism, and friendship through a compelling story. I loved learning at the end how much cultural perspective and research went into designing the story as well as the art. Young fans of fantasy will enjoy this title immensely.
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