The Orphan King

A Wave Blue World. Sept. 2021. 144p. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781949518146.
Gr 6 Up–Prince Kaidan, heir to the Aesolan throne, is sent to the Isle of Woman with his aunt, the mystical Lady Taleissa, for training. His father, King Gorlan, gives him the sword Taliburn so all will know of his lineage. Years pass, and now Kaidan is finally returning home. Crossing the water with the ferryman in the opening pages, Kaidan is eager to see his family again but finds to his horror that his kingdom is in ruins and his mother is missing. Those who have taken over are none too happy to see Kaidan, and there is a reward for his capture. With the Knights of Vermillion on his tail and the possibility that his mother may be alive, Kaidan teams up with a group of outlaws reminiscent of Robin Hood’s Merry Men for a new adventure. This tale introduces a realistic world with hints of magic, filled with characters influenced by Arthurian legend. The pages alternate between flashbacks to Kaidan’s childhood and the present. Lush, detailed artwork and coloring add to the action-packed story. Readers will eagerly await the next volume to see what happens to Kaidan and learn more about the other characters. Kaidan and his family are white.
VERDICT A strong series opener, recommended for most young adult graphic novel collections, especially where tales of fantasy and adventure circulate well.

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