The Golden Age. Book 2. by Roxanne Moreil, illustrated by Cyril Pedrosa. Translated by Montana Kane. First Second, 2021. 9781250237958
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Tilda’s quest finally comes to an end, but with a great cost. This second book in the graphic novel duology takes up where Book 1 left off, with Tilda on the run from her evil (possessed?) brother and his efforts to remove her from succession to the throne. Her forces are on the verge of capitulating to him because of his plans to execute a trusted follower, but then a daring rescue takes place. Little Paul, a peasant with a humpback and a seeming disability, ends up playing a crucial role in helping with Tilda’s tortured uncertainty over what to do about the peasants’ planned revolts.
As with the first book, it’s the amazing art that keeps one’s interest throughout the long quest and political unrest of the story – it is just gorgeous. Deep colors, which are achingly beautiful in echoing the mood of the action, and woodcut-like textures to forest backgrounds, combine to make an almost surreal feel to the story. Add to that Tilda’s bleeding palms, and you are just about in a religious frenzy of emotion.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The story lags a bit, and there is a long time with Tilda in existential agony over her plan of action. A recap of Book 1 would also have been welcome. I think it would be difficult to figure out the story without having read Book 1.
To whom would you recommend this book? For epic fantasy lovers, ages 14 and up.
Who should buy this book? High schools and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Adult graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you have read Book 1, then yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: September 23, 2021