Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today is a little exciting – and a little nerve wracking – as I’m sharing my first ever graphic novel review here.
After my husband bought me a couple for Christmas, I decided I was going to make an effort to read some more of them, partially because my husband is a big collector, and secondly because I like to try and expand something on my reading each year. So this is my first review.
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.
After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives — and eventually her own.
Greta is an adorable protagonist who we follow on an important journey of self discovery, going from being utterly assured that she will follow in her mother’s footsteps and be a blacksmith. She loves smithing, but, it turns out, she has destined to do other things.
As she learns about tea dragons, and grows to know the new people in her life, her priorities change. She sees more about the world through them and the magic tea they produce, and decides where she wants to go with her life, cementing the decision with a beautifully crafted teapot they can use to drink their tea together with.
Despite this being a graphic novel and thus shorter than many books, I really connected with these characters and their stories. I especially loved the information at the end of the novel about how to care for tea dragons, and how each dragon is different, as it gave another layer to the main focus of the story.
“Whimsical” is the best way to capture the illustrations within The Tea Dragon Society. It manages to capture the idea of a market town, with dragons and not-completely-human characters in a completely natural way. The magic of the tea is as beautiful as the nature of the plants, and I fell in love with the dragons themselves. Seeing the connections blossom and bloom between the characters was demonstrated in such a gorgeous way. It will be one I return to time and again just for how gorgeous the artwork is.
Thank you for stopping by today for this first off on my blog. It certainly won’t be my last graphic novel, and it won’t be my last by this author and artist, Katie O’Neill.