Saints by Gene Luen Yang – ⭐⭐⭐
Definitely more of a foil to Bao in Boxers, full review to come.
Recommended: only if you particularly liked Boxers
This one is less impactful, I think, and serves as more of a foil to Little Bao’s story. It was also far less exciting (for me) and more focused on building the cultural feeling at the time
China, 1898. An unwanted and unwelcome fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn’t even given a proper name by her family when she’s born. She finds friendship–and a name, Vibiana–in the most unlikely of places: Christianity. But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is in full swing, and bands of young men roam the countryside, murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie…and whether she is willing to die for her faith.
My expectations for this one were wrong. I didn’t realize the narrator, our MC, was a girl, from the cover. I also didn’t realize the golden knight on the cover was ALSO a girl. Furthermore, I didn’t see the connection between Four Girl and Joan as much as I did with Little Bao and his god counterpart. Joan’s whole line sort of baffled me, and I must admit, I’m not super sure what I was intended to take away from that. Perhaps the peace and salvation faith brings, and that being what Vibiana ended up not understanding and missing in the end? Like she totally misinterpreted what Joan was supposed to be teaching her.
Quicker read, slower story. Much more internal conflict and feelings in this one, than the high energy obvious action of Bao’s story. Incredibly beautiful weaving together of the two, though, even if it was yet again terribly depressing by the last page. Oh Gene, you clever, clever man.
View all my reviews