ARC Review: Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Source: ARC via Netgalley

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.

Queen of the Sea is one of those graphic novels that I’d seen floating around the book blogging world for a while before I decided to read the ARC. I’ve definitely been in a graphic novel mood recently and an alternate history featuring fictionalized versions of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary seemed really interesting.

The beginning moved really slowly and I had to consciously decide to keep reading. While the illustrations were nice and the characters were interesting, I felt like there was actually very little plot, especially for a book billed as “a rich reimagining” of royalty. Also, for being a graphic novel, this book has a lot of pages that mostly contain walls of text with few actual illustrations.

Fortunately, I felt that everything picked up a lot about halfway through. The plot finally started to capture my interest and I no longer had to force myself to keep reading. That said, I’m still not sure that I’d recommend it. All in all, not a bad read, just maybe not one for me.

#ps19: a novel based on a true story


Have you read Queen of the Sea? Do you like alternate histories?
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