cover image Queen of the Sea

Queen of the Sea

Dylan Meconis. Walker US, $24.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0498-8

Meconis offers an atmospheric alternate history inspired by the childhood and succession of Queen Elizabeth I in this quietly ambitious graphic novel. Margaret is the only child in a remote island convent, lonely until Lady Cameron and her son, William, exiles from the island of Albion, arrive and William and Margaret become constant companions. William’s departure years later leads Margaret to discover difficult truths about her island home and the sisters who inhabit it, just as another exile—Eleanor, the deposed Queen of Albion—arrives and embroils Margaret in intrigue that could impact the whole kingdom. Meconis constructs the plot with carefully paced revelations and story elements that echo, build, and amplify each other. Art in soft, earthy colors brings this singular story to life in styles ranging from simple line drawings to elaborately styled text illuminations. The island world is richly developed, both in its physical particulars and its close-knit community (fascinating digressions into topics such as convent time, hand gestures used at table, and chess and embroidery flesh out daily life), and Margaret proves herself an endearing heroine with a strong voice full of humor and wonder. Her perspective transforms a storm-wracked rock into a vibrant world of hidden treasures. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–14. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. [em](June) [/em]