Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

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Product Details

Candlewick Press (MA)
Publish Date
6.7 X 10.5 X 0.7 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author

M. T. Anderson is the author of many books for young adults, including most recently Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Andrea Offermann is a fine artist and the illustrator of many books for children and young adults, including The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett and The Boneshaker by Kate Milford. She attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and now lives in Germany, where she was born.


"Yvain The Knight Of The Lion," by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Andrea Offerman, is based on a 12th century epic poem by Chretien de Troyes, the original source of the King Arthur stories...The result is a sharp critique of medieval social strictures, with stunning battle scenes, monsters, and blood.
--The New York Times Book Review

Anderson's (Symphony for the City of the Dead) clever, nuanced recasting of Chrétien de Troyes's Arthurian legend blends archaic courtliness ("May God hear you") with modern clarity ("Oh, dry up")...Offermann's (the Thickety series) sequential artwork provides a thrilling, nonstop barrage of swordplay, gallantry, and magic; her battle scenes pulse with life, especially when the lion comes to Yvain's aid.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Anderson uses the format's sparseness of text to maximum effect, fashioning a thought-provoking narrative that reflects the grandiosity of Arthurian England while never relinquishing the human element at the core of this story. His perceptive rendering of gender politics within the court is one of the tale's most intriguing features. A compulsively readable and eminently enjoyable retelling that breathes new life into an old classic.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

This adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes' medieval poem beautifully ties together period art and imagery with stylish visual storytelling...Teens who might balk at reading an epic poem will likely be surprised and delighted by Anderson and Offermann's thoughtful, entertaining, and provocative presentation of this centuries-old story.

Offermann's eye-catching illustrations combine modern styles with elements of medieval manuscripts, and emotional close-ups are often used to very dramatic effect. An intriguing selection that will be most appealing to fans of high fantasy and -Arthurian stories.
--School Library Journal

Among older audiences, this title could spark discussion on a woman's role in society or the contrast between the friendship of Yvain and Sir Gawain with the object of his desire, Laudine. Realistic, delicately crafted illustrations compliment the story.
--School Library Connection

The writer and artist both effectively capture Laudine's indignation, resignation, and ultimate fate...Anderson's spare, matter-of-fact narration, set against Offerman's muted earth tones, detailed small panels, sweeping spreads, and swirling, turbulent motifs, further ensures that readers' hearts are as tormented as Laudine's.
--The Horn Book

M.T. Anderson's adaptation of a 12th-century epic poem by Chretien de Troyes...appears in a robust graphic-novel form that highlights the story's stark, poetic refrain: "It is truly a marvel, but I tell you, hatred and love may live cramped together, crouching in the same heart."
--Chicago Tribune

At turns elegant, startling and ironic, this turbulent adventure makes a superb introduction to medieval ideas and storytelling for readers ages 12 and older.
--The Wall Street Journal