Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing with you my review of the second graphic novel in the Tea Dragons series, The Tea Dragon Festival. You can find my review of the first graphic novel, The Tea Dragon Society, here.
Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.
In this story set before the first graphic novel, we follow a different village through their day to day lives. The main focus is on Aedhan, the dragon who was sent to watch over the small village, and proceeded to fall asleep for many years. Upon being woken by Rinn, who was out foraging, Aedhan realises just how much time must have passed, and has a lot to process.
It’s an endearing story, and we see Aedhan learn from Rinn and other villagers just what there is to enjoy about life, no matter how long you’ve been asleep. Aedhan also takes the chance to prove himself when the opportunity arises, defending the village against a monster, and protecting his new friends.
Another brilliant aspect of this book was the representation of there being a deaf member of their village. Aedhan asks Rinn at one point if they can all talk with their hands, and Rinn explains that everyone learned. It’s very simple, very straightforward, and the way things should be.
Another journey back into the whimsical side of illustrations here! And just how beautiful it was. There were some particularly stunning moments in the artwork, one with the tea festival itself, and one with a forest sprite that was accidentally sending people (and dragons!) to sleep because it wanted to show them how beautiful its forest used to be. The image of the spirte surrounded by the forest is one I’ll keep in my thoughts often.
I really loved the illustrations here, and while I knew what to expect from reading the first installment, it didn’t at all take away from just how stunning and accessible the illustrations were. As mentioned above, there was also representation of sign language, and the illustrations did a brilliant job of demonstrating some of the signs too.
Thanks for stopping by for this graphic novel review. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this series of stories, between the endearing tales and the gorgeous illustrations. I’m planning on reading the third installment this month, so I’ll be sharing my review of that sometime soon!