*I was sent a copy of Squire in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to HarperCollins, Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas for my copy of the graphic novel*
Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honour in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the subjugated Ornu people, Knighthood is her only path to full citizenship. Ravaged by famine and mounting tensions, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again, so Aiza can finally enlist in the competitive Squire training program.
It’s not how she imagined it, though. Aiza must navigate new friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the unyielding General Hende, all while hiding her Ornu background. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realises that the “greater good” that Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in greater danger than she ever imagined.
I have been super excited to read Squire ever since it appeared in my inbox. I’ve really gotten into graphic novels in the last few months and I’m always interested in ones with a beautiful art style. And oh how beautiful this one is. I love that even though the colours are muted it is still breathtaking and interesting to look at. The character designs and landscapes were stunning. 10/10 for the art style, colours and lettering.
Considering the main theme of this novel was war/conflict there wasn’t actually a lot of action. I was expecting pages of fast-paced and high-intensity action, but that never really happened. I do understand that with so few words and obviously static images it is hard to greatly capture action, but I don’t know I was a little disappointed.
One part I did love though was our main character Aiza. She was fiery, strong-willed, and loyal. All the great qualities you would expect from someone wanting to be a knight’s squire. She was definitely one of the best characters and she seemed pretty well-rounded.
The ending seemed to come around very fast and it was a little underwhelming so I am wondering whether this will be a longer series. It does work as a standalone, but I think it was quite an open ending so it would be great to see more of this world.
One of my favourite parts of this release is definitely the section after the story has finished. You get an insight into the creative process of Squire including the cultural inspiration (including a look into the author’s own background), the art development and how the novel is brought together. This section was super fun and was a really great inclusion.
Overall I did really enjoy Squire and I will definitely look forward to any future releases from Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas. If you are looking for a quick read with a stunning art style then you should definitely check out Squire.
Like this post? Why not read this one too: Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2022