Vol 1: Child of Wonder, illustrated by Godwin Akpan
Iyanu and her mentor live just inside the outer walls of the city of Elu. The kids who live inside the inner wall, known as Inners, yell at her and throw rocks when they see her looking through a crack in the wall, calling her a Forest Girl who doesn’t belong. Iyanu and her mentor practice the old ways of the Agoni, a segment of Eli’s population who keep the history and the old ways alive. Before Iyanu’s time, the Oba (king) of Elu banished all the Agoni away from their place inside the city and moved the survivors into the Forest. When Iyanu uses her magic to save an Inner boy from a corrupt animal, the Oba and his council of advisors order her capture. Iyanu's mentor is captured instead and sets Iyano on a dangerous journey to locate The Source, a mythical place where magic is strong, and Iyanu will find answers to the curse that has corrupted animals and made them thirst for human blood.
This is a solid adventure story with a fairly interesting main character and conflict. The foundations of this world that are set in this volume really make me want to keep exploring and learning more. The author inserted informational pages at the beginning of each chapter, and these really help explain some of the things that are important in the main action of the storyline. These are also helpful because there isn't much in the way of explanation in the story itself, including some of the words or phrases that are spoken in the lnaguage of the people of Elu. The feel of the story reminds me very much of Children of Blood and Bone where there are people with forbidden magic and a journey our heroine needs to undertake. This would also be good for fans who want more Shuri comics or books, and have run out. This would also be a good choice for fans of Avatar or The Legend of Korra.
The art is also really beautiful. The coloring is soft, and Akpan doesn’t use a ton of heavy lines, which gives the entire story a more ethereal atmosphere.
Dark Horse rates this title for ages 12+. Aside from a little bit of blood and some violence, there is nothing in this first volume that would make it inappropriate for that age group.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-10
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBN: 9781506723044 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Magic, Fantasy, War
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