Monarchs: Beat ‘Em Down to Earn the Crown!

Black Sands. (Monarchs: Bk. 1). Dec. 2023. 64p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9788987909935. .
Gr 6-10–This manga title takes readers on an exhilarating journey to a world where power and prestige are embodied in crowns awarded to the galaxy’s best fighters. In the heart of the human settlement known as the Bloks, two kids, Ja’Khari and Pepper, dream of being able to one day best a Monarch and claim a crown and coveted title. Fueled by their aspirations, Ja’Khari, with his remarkable strength, and Pepper, the loud-mouth cheetah boy, embark on their quest. From the outset, the narrative pulses with energy as the stage is set for an epic showdown against the local bully, Jug. What distinguishes this book is its richly imagined world and fresh perspective on the genre, infusing the traditional shonen formula with cultural references and a diverse cast not often found in manga. It’s a universe brimming with intriguing, world-building visuals in every panel, and the vivid artwork brings the bustling streets of the Bloks to life. While undeniably action-packed, this is a short read and there are moments where the plot feels thin. Readers will have to wait for subsequent volumes to find out what happens.
VERDICT With imaginative world-building, impactful action, and underdog leads, this book stays true to the spirit of shonen manga while carving out its own unique identity.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing