book reviews, Graphic Novels, spoiler free

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

42369064.jpgThe Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Rating: XXXXX

Published September 17th 2019 by Oni Press

“Just because something comes easily to you, does not mean it has no value. You find it effortless because you love it, and that is why it is your gift.”

Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

I read The Tea Dragon Society earlier this year (review here) and absolutely fell in love with the wold Katie had created and was ecstatic to find a new book set in the world of the tea dragons, The Tea Dragon Festival, up on NetGalley! I was so happy when I was approved and dug in almost immediately.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the first book then you’ll be pleased to know that you can look forward to more of the same breath takin artwork and wholesome story. Equally, if this is your first foray into the world of Tea Dragons then never fear because this can absolutely be read alone no problem and is actually a prequel of sorts in that it’s set before the events of the first book and includes two characters we see in the second book, but they can easily be read in any order and still compliment each other.

The Tea Dragon Festival is filled with a brilliant cast of colourful and diverse characters, each more charming than the last, I particularly loved Aedhan and main character of sorts, Rinn, an aspiring cook who loves to gather fresh ingredients and help the people of her town. A new inclusion in this instalment which I really loved was the use of sign language which Katie has brought onto the page fantastically with the simple use of different coloured blocks of text to indicate if someone is communicating through sign and if they are signing and speaking out loud.

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill is out today and I highly recommend this beautiful tale. You can find it in the large hardback version, akin to the first book as well as digitally through both kindle and ComiXology (release for digital is dated as September 18th, tomorrow according to Amazon).

 

book reviews, spoiler free

The Tea Dragon Society

Book Review

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Rating: XXXXX

Published October 18th 2017 by Oni Press

“Memories don’t just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with.” 

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

This book has been catching my eye on the shelf in varying shops for YEARS and when I was approved to review the sequel (review coming soon) I knew it was finally time to throw myself headfirst into the world of Tea Dragons. The Tea Dragon Society began life as a webcomic that upon completion was compiled into its own stunning graphic novel by Oni Press and as well as featuring the first complete story it also features an illustrated, well detailed, almanack full of information about Tea Dragons and the different kinds which I enjoyed almost as much as the initial story itself.

The story is broken down into five parts with a part for each season, beginning with Spring and an epilogue both broke it up into chunks nicely and really helped to show the passing of time in an easy and natural way. This is a story about friendship, following your dreams and cherishing those of others, respecting peoples traditions and cultures and supporting those around you. It’s sweet and beautiful with each page being a gorgeous work of art on its own.

There are a cast of beautifully varied characters, in personality and appearance which is refreshing, I loved that each character had their own feel and quirks with no one character being absolutely ‘perfect’ each had realistic flaws and brought different things to the story. I especially liked that we got to see into each characters backgrounds in unique ways and got to know them better as well.

Although you can read the story in individual parts via her it’s own gorgeous website here, I can’t recommend the hard copy enough, not only does it actively support Katie’s work but it’s a beautiful book to have around, it’s an A4 hardback book with high-quality paper pages, the lack of a glossy finish that a lot of graphic novels have really helps add to the natural feel too and just gives it a whole other layer, honestly it’s beautiful. The Tea Dragon Society is out now and it’s sequel, The Tea Dragon Festival is out this September so this is the perfect time to start reading!

 

spoiler free, Tags

Bank holiday tag

tag ThursdayExcept not Thursday because Bank Holiday Reasons.

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Oh my gosh, what is this?! A book tag on a MONDAY! This is madness! Actually, it’s just because here in the UK it’s a Bank Holiday Monday and I’m doing a slightly different tag this upcoming Thursday so you get extra posts this week, lucky you! This tag is actually from the lovely Cora from Tea Party Princess and I couldn’t resist giving it a go so thank you, Cora!

Have a lie-in. Which book could you lounge in bed with all morning?

I can’t have super long lay-ins or I get headaches buuuut I would love to sit and snuggle up in bed on a lovely morning to read the Heartstopper books by Alice Oseman.

Oh my goodness, it’s actually sunny outside! A book that makes you feel optimistic.

Strangely I think this would be Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James but this has so many great messages behind it and one is what it means to be human and how we, as humans, endure in the way that only we can.

Spend some time outdoors. A book that reminds you of nature

The Warrior Cat books! The cats in these (for the most part) are wild cats with their own clans and territory and I love seeing how they approach certain things in nature, for example, their use of herbs by their healer cats to help with injuries and illnesses.

Make some punch. A book that you find difficult to classify into one genre.

I feel like maybe Sanctuary by V.V James is a hard one to classify because it feels contemporary but because of the inclusion of witchcraft, it tilts it towards the paranormal or fantasy side of things, perhaps urban fantasy but also a thriller AND a  mystery! It has everything!

Pass some food around. A book you want to share with everyone.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James is one of my all-time favorite books and I recommend it to anyone who will listen.

Light the BBQ. A book that took a while to get going.

Nevernight, I love it to death but it definitely took a little while to really get into it but once I was hooked that was it. I’m in for life now.

Failed BBQ. A book that ultimately disappointed you.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. It wasn’t a bad book by any means but I just found it far too predictable for my taste and I think  went into it expecting it to be fantasy in a way that it wasn’t, I am however enjoying the kind of sequel/follow up/companion book for it The Girl the Sea Gave Back however.

It’s raining. Of course. A book to curl up with when it’s raining outside.

This might seem a strange one but I think for me this would be A Discovery of Witches, it’s rare that I like huge books but A Discovery of Witches is one that I really enjoy and I can imagine the rain pouring down the windows in a lot of the scenes.

Let’s just eat chocolate. A book that’s super sweet.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neil, it’s absolutely gorgeous and every page is gloriously sweet, from the art style and the characters, the story and the Tea Dragons themselves.

As usual, I won’t tag anyone but if you would like to give this tag a go feel free but let me know so I can check out your answers!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday July 17th

Okay so after June moving at a glacial pace July is moving far too quickly, YALC is next week and I still have so much more to read! Still, it’s time for my fortnightly bookish check-in!

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? 

I feel slightly victimized by this question because I’ve dipped my toe into numerous books over the past fortnight as I frantically try to find the best order to read them in. My main current read is Revenger by Alastair Reynolds in preparation for YALC (and I’ve had it to read for a while). I’ve also been reading Finding Home by Hari Conner and The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neil, both of which have been absolutely healing my soul. I’ve been enjoying Revenger as well but there’s just something about the story and art styles for these two graphic novels that just soothes me, Hari’s landscape pieces transport me to beautiful forests where I can fill my lungs with sweet air and Katie’s soft edges and pastel colours lull me into a relaxed dreamland, I can’t get enough of them.

What did you recently finish reading?

Last weekend I finished Wastelands: The New Apocolypse, the dystopian anthology I was reading and Heartstream. I really enjoyed Heartstream and read it very quickly, it was a little traumatising and had some difficult parts in it but I loved it, you can check out my review here. Wastelands was a great anthology but it just felt so huge! Just writing the review is taking me ages as I made notes for every single story and there are over thirty of them! I’m glad I decided to read it but I was so pleased to finally finish it. A review should be coming next week with any luck.

What do you think you’ll read next?

For a change, this is actually super easy to answer and shouldn’t change! If it hasn’t already arrived by the time this post goes live Heartstopper volume two should be arriving and I’ll be dropping absolutely everything for that! My next YALC book to read is Do you Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh which will my next non-graphic novel read. I’m also lucky enough to have been accepted for the new Tea Dragon Society graphic novel due out in September so will defintley be getting to that too!

What are you reading next? What have you been reading? What are you reading right now? Let me know!! Those of you attending YALC and still working through your TBR’s for it how are you getting on?