Review: “The Nameless City” and “The Girl Who Married a Skull and Other African Stories”

PL_NamelessCity-GirlWhoMarriedASkull-feat

Comic: The Nameless City vols. 1-3
Release date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: First Second
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Comic: The Girl Who Married a Skull and Other African Stories
Release date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Iron Circus Comics
Genre: Mythology, Middle Grade

Descriptions

The Nameless City: “Built on an ancient mountain pass, the City is forever being invaded by one nation or another, and every new master gives it a new name. But for the natives, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.

Dreamy, sheltered Kaidu is one such outsider. He’s a Dao born and bred–a son of the latest nation to occupy the Nameless City. Cynical, street-smart Rat is a native, and at first she hates Kai for everything he stands for. But Kai’s love of his new home may be the one thing that can unite these two unlikely friends. And they will need to stand together at all costs…because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.” (via Goodreads)

The Girl Who Married a Skull and Other African Stories:Have you heard the one about the skull who borrowed body parts to pass himself off as a complete human so he could trick the village beauty into marriage? Well, what about when Frog and Snake’s daughters had a play date? Okay, okay. But surely you’ve heard the story about the crocodiles who held a vote on whether or not to eat a man that had saved one of their lives? NO? Wow. Have we got some stories for you.” (via Goodreads)

 

My Thoughts

The Nameless City

NamelessCity-coverThe ever-rotating list of conquerors call the city by their own forcibly applied names, but those born and bred from its streets and sacred temples eschew them all. Their city has no name, no matter what the invaders say. The Dao are the current occupiers, having taken the city a few decades ago. Kaidu, a preteen Dao boy, arrives in the Nameless City to train as a warrior and connect with his absent father, a military general. While exploring the city, Kai meets Rat, a local orphan girl his age. She agrees to teach Kai to run across the rooftops like she does, and they become fast friends. But when a selfish, heartless Dao prince takes control of the city, Kai and Rat must decide where their loyalties lie. They hold the key to the city’s fate, but what should they do with it and who can they trust?

 

The Girl Who Married a Skull and Other African Stories

GirlWhoMarriedASkull-coverIn this intriguing and appealing comic anthology, seventeen writers and artists adapt fifteen African folktales with varying degrees of success. The stories featured range from why snake and frog don’t hang out anymore to why nobody likes the hyena to Thunder and her destructive son Lightning to, well, the girl who married a skull. As with all anthologies, some entries are stronger than others. A few stories were very good, a few felt incomplete, but all were enjoyable.

For the rest of my review, head over to Tor.com.

 

Do the world a favor and buy these from an indie comic book store or borrow it from your local public library.

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