Review by Booklist Review
In his afterword, Chantler describes his pitch for Squire & Knight as "Dungeons & Dragons with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle"--and that's a perfect description for what is perhaps a perfect book. Brawny Sir Kelton is more than happy to bravely charge in and slay the dragon terrorizing the people of Bridgetown, but his young squire feels there's more to the story and investigates further to truly solve the problem. Chantler's comic has a timeless feel, and it's all the better for it. Both the oblong character design and the slightly faded orange-and-black color palette give the work a midcentury modern feel, and the focus on wit and mystery rather than on fantasy tropes and modern trends is mature yet playful. Kids will be drawn in by the straightforward central mystery and the fantasy action, while the charming character designs, clever skewering of classic genre tropes, and comedic timing will make this approachable for sword-and-sorcery fans of nearly any age. Chantler reveals further mysteries about his creative process in the back matter that details his method and early-draft thoughts, which is sure to inspire young artists and adventurers. A timeless, smart take on a classic story.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
An unnamed bookish squire saves his boastful mentor, a knight, from death at the claws of a dragon in this fast-paced, medieval fantasy series launch by Chantler (the Three Thieves series). When Sir Kelton of Eldergard and his charge, Squire, arrive in Bridgetown, the pair find a quiet and ostensibly deserted village. After encountering a child with elf-like ears, the duo learn that the town is beset by a dragon, which the residents claim has cursed their village, resulting in damaged boats, dead crops, lost pets, and a flare-up of the mayor's gout. Insisting that Squire's book smarts would "be of no use at all," Sir Kelton rushes off to slay the beast. But when there's no sign of the knight, and the dragon returns to ravage Bridgetown, the villagers embark to confront the creature themselves, much to Squire's consternation. Cartoonish illustrations rendered in a muted black, white, and orange color palette depict this quest narrative, which teems with sharp-witted dialogue and carefully timed twists. Via Squire's deliberate consideration of facts and communication-first approach to solving problems, Chantler's graphic novel examines the pursuit of glory over compromise while delivering an action-filled exploit. Ages 8--12. Agent: Samantha Haywood, Transatlantic Literary. (May)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 3--5--When Squire and Knight stumble upon a cursed village terrified of a local dragon, the heroes jump to save the day. While Sir Kelton rides off right away to fight the dragon, Squire is told to stay back and read his books instead. As the days go by and Sir Kelton still hasn't returned, the young Squire begins to unravel town secrets and realizes how he might be the real hero the town needs. Readers will appreciate how Squire solves problems using his mind while the inept Knight fails using just his brawn, highlighting the importance of thinking before you act. The artwork sets the medieval scene beautifully with quirky, detailed characters and earthy coloring that reflects the simplicity of the classic village. VERDICT A witty, adventurous tale with excellent character building, this graphic novel gives readers of fantasy and medieval stories plenty to enjoy.--Julie Kurtis
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A knight and his squire take unique approaches to helping a plagued town. Sir Kelton of Eldergard and Squire arrive in "cursed" Bridgetown, whose inhabitants live in fear of a nearby dragon and where everything seems to be going wrong, from failed crops to a leaky boat. Orange-haired Sir Kelton boldly vows to defeat the dragon and rides off, leaving skinny, young, blond Squire behind. Squire's research in the Hall of Records--where a horned, three-eyed, four-armed archivist tells him about the town's founder, a powerful wizard--reveals there is more here than meets the eye and high stakes for both townspeople and dragon. Squire puts together clues from the archivist and townsfolk to discover the truth about the wizard, the dragon, and the alleged curse. A palette of autumnal colors, effective use of light and shadow, and a variety of page layouts are visually appealing and make the action easy to follow as Chantler recognizes and subverts typical fairy-tale tropes with dry humor (Dragon to Squire: "And how did you get into my basement?"). Our hero--Squire, not Sir Kelton--is intelligent, brave, and honorable, a perfect foil to the knight's ineffectual bravado. This tale is delightfully compact in eight chapters and an epilogue, with the possibility of more to come. Sir Kelton and Squire are light-skinned; the supporting cast varies in skin tone. Compelling and full of adventure, with a plot as clever as its main character. (author's note, character sketches) (Graphic fiction. 8-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.