The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob

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The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob

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Buy The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Graphic Novels
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel:lots of action, some devious politics, a love story, and honour and sacrifice, all with robust worldbuilding, good characterisation and a coherent narrative to back it up.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 260 Date: November 2021
Publisher: Iron House Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-8985172607

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When Myriad created Duniva he endowed his children with different powers, each with its own strength and weakeness, in the hope they would complement each other and collaborate, creating a dynamic and prosperous society. Each power is contained within a magical ring belonging to one of eight countries led by Myriad's children and their descendants. But it didn't quite work out like that. Rivalries developed. Enmities grew out of them and the eight countries went to war. Having fought themselves into an endless and ruinous stalemate and finding the cost of war too high, a solution is proposed. Each of the eight countries will send their greatest warriors, known as sentinels, to a single combat tournament. The winner will take possession of all the rings and become the supreme ruler of Duniva.

The story opens with a strong action scene in which the Karvan sentinel is defeated by the seemingly invincible Titus Tyrannis, the Black Eagle and sentinel of Ankovia. With the Gold Lion dead, Kayeer is forced to step up as sentinel and take on his destiny. The action flows thick and fast after that, as the single combat tournament is organised and each bout is fought to the bitter end. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining, action-packed graphic novel. Running through it are themes of ambition, rivalry and the lust for power. The question is: how best to overcome them? Is it through courage? Loyalty? Commitment? Love? Well, yes, it's all these things, but it's sacrifice too. The central character, Kayeer, is a reluctant hero. He is full of self doubt which he must overcome if he is to unite the eight nations and return prosperity and flourishing to his magical world. 

The art work is energetic and impactful during the action scenes and emotive during the flashbacks and each character is well delineated. I liked the way the backgrounds represented the different countries with a colour wash and loved the clarity of emotional expression on each character's face. Interspersed between the action scenes are panels dealing with the plotting and scheming of each nation's leaders and flashbacks to the past and the mythos of the Dunivan world. This gives great light and shade to the book.

If you enjoy a good superhero story and tales of heroic sacrifice, you will like The Gold Lion: and the Tournament of Sentinels. It has everything you'll be looking for: lots of action, some devious politics, a love story, and honour and sacrifice, all with robust worldbuilding, good characterisation and a coherent narrative to back it up. It's neither too long nor too short and you could gobble it up over a quiet afternoon or in little chapters, bout-by-bout, over a week. 

You can also get a sneak peek from the video trailer.

If fantasy graphic novels are your thing, you could look at Dark Wraith of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

You can read more about Kia Ahankoob here.

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Buy The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Gold Lion and the Tournament of Sentinels by Kia Ahankoob at Amazon.com.

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