Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Seven Sons Paperback – October 31, 2006
The venerable Chinese folktale about identical brothers with remarkable powers here gets graphic-novel treatment. Its previous versions have been set in China, where the siblings run afoul of the emperor, but now the family immigrates to gold-rush California to escape warring factions trying to enlist them during the Taiping Rebellion. The unusual locale adds conflict and commentary, as the previously established townspeople react with xenophobia and violence when they discover the brothers' strange abilities. Tragic events lead to an ending that's grimmer than Grimm (the brothers told a similar fairy tale), though a modern-day framing sequence adds hope. Grecian imaginatively imparts a contemporary sensibility to the legendary tale, and illustrator Rossmo's tone is decidedly different from the whimsy of picture-book versions. Loosely expressionist black-and-white wash drawings accentuate the story's drama, not its humor. The temptation to turn the family into a superhero team is admirably resisted. Come to think of it, however, with their elasticity, impenetrable skin, and other peculiarities, the seven sons would fit right in with the comics' costumed crime fighters. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved