Star Knights by Kay Davault. RH Graphic, 2022. 9780593303658
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Format: Hardcover graphic novel
What did you like about the book? Tad the frog and his friend the salamander long to be Star Knights, as do all of the furry young creatures who live in the forest. But the cute chipmunks and bunnies reject them as “mud-dwellers”, allies of the evil Marsh Witch. Rumor has it she turned the original Knights into the “Fallen Fauna”, huge, glowing, violent versions of their former animal selves. When Tad finally catches one of the magical falling stars, his dream comes true. He morphs into a Star Knight and finds their King, who’s in need of some help. Together they confront the preconceptions about amphibians and challenge prevailing notions about the new leader of the Star Knights, who may be putting her own ambitions ahead of the good of her kingdom. Visually this work was intriguing. The artwork was colorful and attractive, with a strong anime look (cute, rounded creatures, neat little outfits, big eyes) and a lovely color palette of aqua, pink, and deep greens. Facial reactions and body language were well-developed and the panel construction was sophisticated and interesting. This is the first entry in a projected series.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I couldn’t follow the plot and the baroque narrative made it difficult to connect to the characters. Considerable effort was spent explaining the back story and describing what was happening, but I never found the world-building rich enough to justify the investment of time it would have taken me to sort out the complicated story.
To whom would you recommend this book? Upper elementary students and middle school may appreciate the gorgeous drawings and cute characters. The themes of loyalty in friendship and challenging biases will also help this book find an audience.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: August 30, 2022