Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

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Annotation: In this graphic-novel adaptation, Sir Yvain sets out from King Arthur's court, seeking glory and heedless of others. When he defeats a local lord in battle, he unwittingly becomes entangled with the lord's beautiful widow and her sly maid.
Catalog Number: #138219
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Offermann, Andrea,
Pages: 125 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-5939-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97091-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-5939-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97091-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015943546
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
This adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes' medieval poem beautifully ties together period art and imagery with stylish visual storytelling. When Yvain, one of Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, falls in love with Laudine, the wife of the man he killed in a duel, he's ecstatic when Laudine is convinced to marry him, despite the hatred she bears for her husband's killer. But Yvain fails to keep a promise, she spurns him, and he spends his tormented days contritely fighting to regain his honor and win her back. Anderson makes it clear, however, that all is not rosy: Laudine is politically savvy, and her reconciliation has nothing to do with love, despite her guileless husband's joy at the end. Offermann's swirling, evocative artwork, in muted tones and stylized figures reminiscent of tapestries, does an excellent job of depicting both action-heavy battle scenes and expressive moments full of emotional heft. Teens who might balk at reading an epic poem will likely be surprised and delighted by Anderson and Offermann's thoughtful, entertaining, and provocative presentation of this centuries-old story.
Horn Book
This graphic-novel retelling of a twelfth-century epic poem about young knight-errant Sir Yvain's marriage to widow Lady Laudine puts as much emphasis on Laudine's sorrow as on Yvain's adventures. It's a tempestuous counter-story that challenges perceived notions of love by examining women's roles in relationships and society. Anderson's spare narration is set against Offermann's muted tones, detailed panels, sweeping spreads, and turbulent motifs.
Publishers Weekly
Anderson-s (Symphony for the City of the Dead) clever, nuanced recasting of Chrétien de Troyes-s Arthurian legend blends archaic courtliness (-May God hear you-) with modern clarity (-Oh, dry up-). Young knight Yvain, banished from the castle for breaking his promise to his wife, the noble Laudine, retreats into the forest: -There was a storm in his head so violent that he did not know who he was.- Emerging chastened and transformed, he seizes the chance to stand as champion for Laudine-s servant Lunette, hoping to redeem himself in his lady-s eyes-only to find that his opponent is his cousin Gawain. Along the way, he rescues innocents from monsters and evildoers with the help of a lion whose life he saved. Offermann-s (the Thickety series) sequential artwork provides a thrilling, nonstop barrage of swordplay, gallantry, and magic; her battle scenes pulse with life, especially when the lion comes to Yvain-s aid. Throughout, Anderson teases out the story-s dark undercurrents, in which friends can be foes, and every emotion conceals its opposite: -I tell you, hatred and love may live cramped together, crouching in the same heart.- Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up&12; Told here in graphic novel exuberance, Yvain's exploits express the way "hatred and love may live cramped together, crouching in the same heart." The tale, from a 12th-century romance poem by Chr&3;tien de Troyes, illuminates medieval issues such as the plight of women, brawling knights, and ever-present sorcery.
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The violence and romance of Arthurian legend practically pop off of the pages of Anderson (Symphony for the City of the Dead, 2015, etc.) and Offermann's (Well of Witches, 2016, etc.) striking graphic-novel adaptation of Chretien de Troyes' epic poem.After hearing tales of a magical spring in a far-off kingdom, Yvain—a young knight of the Round Table—leaves Camelot to defeat the spring's guardian and thereby claim glory. After killing the kingdom's lord in combat, Yvain later falls in love with his widow, the beautiful Lady Laudine, whom he marries. Yvain's subsequent, selfish decision to abandon his new wife and adult responsibilities for the glory of questing drives this story of hubris and redemption. The author and illustrator weave the richness of human complexity into their interpretation of the medieval poem, crafting three-dimensional knights and ladies who feel heartbreakingly real. Offermann's illustrations are glorious medieval tapestries come to life, and her finely etched pencil lines highlight the white characters' angular features and draw attention to their eyes, which are mirrors for their turbulent emotions. Anderson uses the format's sparseness of text to maximum effect, fashioning a thought-provoking narrative that reflects the grandiosity of Arthurian England while never relinquishing the human element at the core of this story. His perceptive rendering of gender politics within the court is one of the tale's most intriguing features. A compulsively readable and eminently enjoyable retelling that breathes new life into an old classic. (author's, illustrator's notes) (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)
Voice of Youth Advocates
When a fellow knight returns injured and humiliated by a local lord, Sir Yvain sets out to avenge him in a fight to the lord’s death. A sly maidservant named Lunette uses sorcery to hide him from the angry inhabitants of the lord’s manor, and while invisible, Yvain witnesses the beautiful widow of the lord grieving and falls in love with her. Lunette does him the favor of convincing the widowed Laudine to marry Yvain. She allows her new husband to continue knightly adventures on the condition that he returns before a year has passed. Yvain cannot resist the lure of heroics, however, and when he has not returned in a year, he is cast out by Laudine. Grieving his own folly, Yvain starts upon a set of adventures to prove his own knighthood and win back his wife’s favor, though he may need to rely on trickery and Lunette’s wits to do so. Anderson’s adaptation of this Arthurian poem is straightforward, complemented by illustrations by Offermann that echo medieval tapestries and art. Unfortunately, it is not a compelling tale. Artistically, Yvain’s battles wake up the action and Offerman’s characters are very expressive. The story, however, does not seem to serve much of a point, beyond illustrating the patriarchal society of the middle ages. The book would serve best as supplemental reading for a course in medieval history and literature. Comics readers and fans of Arthurian literature are likely to be disappointed in the selfishness of Yvain and the frustrating circumstances of the women of whom he takes advantage.—Liz Gotauco.
Word Count: 6,304
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 188799 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.1 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q70760
Lexile: GN510L

In his first graphic novel, National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson turns to Arthurian lore, with captivating art by Andrea Offermann bringing the classic legend to life.

Eager for glory and heedless of others, Sir Yvain sets out from King Arthur’s court and defeats a local lord in battle, unknowingly intertwining his future with the lives of two compelling women: Lady Laudine, the beautiful widow of the fallen lord, and her sly maid Lunette. In a stunning visual interpretation of a 12th century epic poem by Chrétien de Troyes, readers are — at first glance — transported into a classic Arthurian romance complete with errant knights, plundering giants, and fire-breathing dragons. A closer look, however, reveals a world rich with unspoken emotion. Striking, evocative art by Andrea Offermann sheds light upon the inner lives of medieval women and the consequences Yvain’s oblivious actions have upon Laudine and Lunette. Renowned author M. T. Anderson embraces a new form with a sophisticated graphic novel that challenges Yvain’s role as hero, delves into the honesty and anguish of love, and asks just how fundamentally the true self can really change.


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