Gosh! Best Of 2022
A YA, Arabian-based fantasy graphic novel which needs to be experienced by everyone. 14-year-old and second-class citizen Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honor in the Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the Ornu people, her only path to full citizenship. Bayt-Sajji Empire finds itself on the brink of war again and Aiza enlists in the competitive Squire training program and undergoes vigorous training under the merciless General Hande. As time goes by, Aiza starts to uncover whether the once-great Empire is all as it seems. Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas storytelling and artwork go hand-in-hand to tackle the typical Western fantasy tropes by putting Arabian-inspired fantasy in the limelight and offer a refreshing tale to feast your eyes upon.
(W) Nadia Shammas (A) Sara Alfageeh This YA fantasy graphic novel follows fourteen-year-old Aiza, who trains to become a knight for a war-torn empire while hiding her true background as a girl from conquered lands. Born a second-class citizen, Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It's the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the Ornu people, her only path to full citizenship. Now, ravaged by famine, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again. This means Aiza can finally enlist to the competitive Squire training program. The camp is nothing like she envisioned. Hiding her Ornu status in order to blend in, Aiza must navigate friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the merciless General Hende. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the "greater good" Bayt-Sajji's military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in more danger than she ever imagined.