BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Chancellor and the Citadel by Maria Capelle Frantz [in Booklist]

“The world’s falling apart,” young Olive sighs under a starry sky. “Some think it’s coming together,” the chancellor reminds her as she guides Olive home through the forest, subduing an angry beast midway. Cloaked in layers, her face obscured in hooded darkness, the chancellor protects her citadel by any means necessary.

When detractors besiege her kingdom with accusations of dishonesty and destruction, violence inevitably ensues. Suddenly, right and wrong, good guys and bad guys are not so obvious, and taking sides solves nothing. Deep in the citadel’s inner sanctum lined with endless books, the chancellor must confront a bitterly disillusioned young woman desperate to challenge the chancellor’s power.

Newbie comics creator Maria Capelle Frantz presents a brave new world in her action-packed, never stagnant artwork lushly saturated in blues, pinks, and purples, where quick answers and easy labels don’t exist. Inspired by post-2016 election political protests in her Portland, Oregon, hometown, Frantz transfers her reactions to the page for younger audiences to both question and find solace in a world both falling apart and still coming together.

Review: “Graphic Novels,” Booklist, January 1, 2019

Readers: Middle Grade

Published: 2018


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