To save her homeland, a 16th-century Irishwoman fears no man.
In this exciting graphic novel, fierce, scarlet-haired Grace O’Malley grows up on the sea alongside her chieftain father in Ireland. When her father tries to steer her toward pursuits he deems ladylike, she admonishes him, “A woman’s skills? Needlework and dancing? I’m an O’Malley! We don’t dance!” Under the rule of Henry VIII, Ireland suffers greatly as people lose their homes and their lands to English tyranny. As the oppression grows, Grace finds herself enmeshed in the conflict, losing a son, a lover, and two husbands to the intolerable and seemingly unrelenting war. Grace takes to sailing the seas and destroying English ships, fearing nothing; she even goes so far as to shoot a boarding enemy with a crossbow minutes after giving birth. Lee depicts O’Malley as a truly powerful figure: She fights, kills, and leads men into battle—but she never abandons facets of her selfhood with which she strongly identifies, such as being a mother. Hart’s illustrations are vigorously kinetic, creating compelling scenes of battle that rocket along at a breakneck pace more electrifying than any action movie. While Lee and Hart’s previous volumes tackled more widely known figures (such as Joan of Arc and Robin Hood), discovering the legend of Grace O’Malley feels like unearthing a hidden gem. The tale takes place in the United Kingdom in the 1500s; all characters portrayed present white.
Spirited, thrilling, and wonderful. (Graphic historical fiction. 10-adult)