GRAPHIC NOVELS

Brightly Woven: The Graphic Novel

Disney-Hyperion. Jan. 2021. 176p. adapted by adapt. by Leigh Dragoon. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781368015882.
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Gr 3-7–This comics adaptation of Bracken’s fantasy novel explores talent and responsibility through a medieval road trip. Sydelle, 14, is an exceptional weaver, and Wayland, 15, is a magical messenger whose powers depend on maintaining his colorful cloaks. Together they must deliver a report that can prevent a war between two rival kingdoms, but they are being tracked by a dark wizard, Dorwan. Wayland’s powers physically exhaust him, but his friends along the road have his back, as does the trusting Sydelle, whose family is under occupation while she attempts to serve a greater good. Chaotic weather patterns add to the danger and hint at unexpected magical forces. Wayland’s magical methods combine with Sydelle’s practical knowledge, particularly navigation, to form an unstoppable duo. The friendship at the core of this journey is tested but never torn, with a couple of moments of truth for Sydelle and Wayland to demonstrate that they care about each other. Dorwan’s villainy gives the pair someone to resist, as well as artist Seaton some magic to render. Expository scenes about goddesses and curses ensure the story moves as quickly as possible, though the messy journey is more satisfying than the tidy resolution.
VERDICT A fast friendship founded in mutual respect for different talents becomes a tight bond tying together this light fantasy adventure.

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