Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
An Atlantis-like city from Celtic legend is the setting of The Daughters of Ys, a mythical graphic novel fantasy from National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and artist Jo Rioux.
Ys, city of wealth and wonder, has a history of dark secrets. Queen Malgven used magic to raise the great walls that keep Ys safe from the tumultuous sea. But after the queen's inexplicable death, her daughters drift apart. Rozenn, the heir to the throne, spends her time on the moors communing with wild animals, while Dahut, the youngest, enjoys the splendors of royal life and is eager to take part in palace intrigue.
When Rozenn and Dahut's bond is irrevocably changed, the fate of Ys is sealed, exposing the monsters that lurk in plain view. M. T. Anderson and Jo Rioux reimagine this classic Breton folktale of love, loss, and rebirth, revealing the secrets that lie beneath the surface.
About the authors
Jo Rioux was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. An artist from an early age, she was eventually drawn to children’s books, illustrating Swordquest for HarperCollins and the graphic novel series A Sam and Friends Mystery for Kids Can Press. Her love for the comic medium spurred her to author her first graphic novel series, Cat’s Cradle. She lives in the lush suburbs of her hometown, where, when not working at her drawing desk, she can be found nestled within a pile of books.
A YALSA 2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
"Like [M. T. Anderson's] National Book Award-winning The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, this graphic novel is both accessible to a wide age range and rich with ideas that will intrigue adults... Jo Rioux’s character designs—which reference fifth century Anglo-Saxon art—aren’t just beautiful, they allow her to test the evocative possibilities of minimalist cartooning." —NPR, from "NPR's Favorite Books Of 2020"
"Anderson adds compelling depth to the story with just a few details beyond the original tale, and Rioux’s lush, dense artwork, full of dynamic figures, swirling lines, dramatic angles, and colors that seem to glow, cultivates a fantastic, magical folk-tale atmosphere."—Booklist, starred review
"Anderson and Rioux have woven a lush folktale filled with magic, lust, and feminine power. Rioux’s pencil illustrations are melancholic, with dramatic shadows, glowing moonlight, and swirling seas. ...A haunting rendering of an ancient folktale, packed with magic."—School Library Journal, starred review
"Anderson’s [lyrical] version of the original lore...draws the reader into the eerie mystical world of Ys. Rioux’s enchanting classical artwork employs rustic pencils in a romantic style that recalls Emily Carroll, and autumnal colors which harken back to Breton culture. Readers keen on Celtic mythology will appreciate this whimsical tale with a dark turn, with crossover for Anderson’s teen fans likely."—Publisher's Weekly
"Rioux’s graphics stress the magical effects and action elements of the folktale, with a shadowy, subdued palette and abundant, inventive sound effects. [Rioux and Anderson] transport us to a world that seems beyond language itself, a dangerous confluence of nature’s forces."—Horn Book
"Intriguing and accessible, this thought-provoking tale will be new to many."—Kirkus