Boxers & Saints
BY Gene Luen Yang
“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. ” -Goodreads
“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.” -Goodreads
This duo of graphic novels is simply remarkable. The author/artist conveys that both sides of the story have faults and attributes. It was my first time reading a historical fiction graphic novel and it was interesting. The artist used a bold and fairly simple graphic style that portrays the tales while emphasizing the action of it. As I have no historical contents surrounding the portrayal of these events, I can only judge based on what I see in the novels. If these novels were standalone, they would not have as much meaning behind them. We don’t recognize the double standards until we see both sides of the story clearly laid out. I definitely recommend this duo to those who enjoy graphic novels and history. I must state that they are very quick reads as well!