FICTION

Persephone

tr. from French by Edward Gauvin. illus. by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky. 144p. Archaia. May 2018. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781684151752.
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Gr 6 Up-Although only lightly reminiscent of the Greek myth from which it takes its name, this story has a delightful grasp of its own mythology and dives into it as deeply as its titular character plunges into the Underworld. The young girl at the center of the tale is rescued by her adoptive mother, Demeter, during a bitter war between the Underworld and the aboveground realms of Eleusis. A combination of political posturing and familial machinations return her to the land of her birth, placing her in the middle of a long-simmering conflict that blurs the line among myth, diplomatic intrigue, and family drama (much like the off-the-wall stuff of the actual Greek pantheon). Locatelli-Kournwsky draws inspiration from Japanese cartooning—the main character calls to mind nearly every curious, spritely Miyazaki heroine—and his deft shifts among high-octane action, speech bubbles that fill the frame, and vistas of the deepest depths of Hades make the visual experience epic and intimate.
VERDICT While perfect for fans of fantasy and magic, this inventive tale transcends genre expectations and will appeal to a variety of graphic novel readers.-Emilia Packard, Austin, TX

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