Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Posted by Caitie F on May 16, 2014
Summary from pub:
China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.
Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers – commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.”
Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of “secondary devils” – Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity.
China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn’t even given a proper name by her family. 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 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.
These are two separate books, but I am just writing one review since i read them back to back.
Now I don’t really like graphic novels. I have tried MANY and it just isn’t a format I usually enjoy. I tend to find myself thinking “This would be better if it was just a novel”. That is not the case for Boxers and Saints.
It is a great graphic novel and it needs to be a graphic novel to give readers the sense of place and culture. I admit, I knew almost nothing about The Boxer Rebellion going into this and that it was a graphic novel really helped me get it more.
The story is fantastic because while it is presented as a legend about something that actually happened. It is really exciting and the illustrations add so much. I never would have been able to imagine the gods on my own.
I am so glad i read this set of graphic novels and highly recommend them to anyone who loves legend or history.