Review: The Daughters of Ys

Title: The Daughters of Ys
Author: M.T. Anderson, Jo Rioux
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: First Second Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

An Atlantis-like city from Celtic legend is the setting of this 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.


Queen Malgven was a sorceress who used magic to protect the city of Ys. After she dies, her two daughters grow apart. Rozenn, the heir, goes to live in the wild with nature, while Dahut stays home, taking over her mother’s magic. Dahut has to use magic to continue protecting the city from the monsters that threaten them.

This story is based on a Celtic legend. I didn’t know that story before reading it, so it was interesting to learn about. There were common elements of legends and myths, such as love, loss, magic, rebirth, and power.

At first, I thought this book is for younger readers, such as middle grade or young adult. With the illustrations and simple dialogue I thought this would teach younger readers about this legend. There were some depictions of sex, which surprised me. The illustrations were also graphic in some violent scenes. It should be read by an older young adult or adult audience.

I enjoyed this graphic novel.

Thank you First Second for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler, Frank Miller

Have you read Daughters of Ys? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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