Oh readers, am I excited to talk about this book with you! Brought to my attention by the rather wonderful Anna James (watch her booktube videos by searching ‘A Case for Books’ on you tube or click here – they are always wonderful) who was singing its praises. It seems we have similar book taste to each other so I knew this was definitely something I needed to take a look at and ordered it immediately. This is a book I read in one sitting, a book I have already sat down and read again AND a book I want to own two copies of – this book is a GRAPHIC NOVEL! Now listen you – don’t stop reading or think this isn’t for you because you haven’t been a graphic novel reader in the past. I am not a huge reader of graphic novels, only lately getting into them and having to ‘settle’ into a new way of reading, but even if you still think ‘nope, not for me’, trust in me here, this book is different, it is special, it is charming, heart warming, bold, funny, just generally perfect. I want a second copy because I love so much of the art work I want it to cover parts of my flat so I can see it daily. I especially would like one of the chapter pages which warns ‘Never Eat a Poisoned Sausage’ in my kitchen.
‘The One Hundred Night’s of Hero’ is written and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg, my new hero. With a base in the Arabian Nights but also weaving in plenty of other folk lore and myth, we meet Cherry and her maid Hero, a pair who are head over heels in love. When Cherry is married off against her will her new husband turns out to be a brute and a fool, accepting a bet from his arrogant friend who is certain that if he is given 100 nights with Cherry then he will be able to woo her into straying from her husband and into bed with him. Hero comes up with a plan and every night before he attempts to take Cherry away she starts to tell him stories, stories so enchanting that he ends up listening until morning and eventually unable to recall how many nights have even passed without him succeeding in his goal. We get to listen in on these stories and oh my, I never wanted them to end, I too am in love with Hero!
The stories heavily revolve around female friendship, sisterhood, love, loyalty and bravery. They are the kind of stories you always wanted to be told when you were young and being tucked into bed, but with a layer of the tales you would never quite understand until you were older. I keep thinking I have a favourite story out of them all but then I change my mind daily. The illustrations are equally as captivating, the colours used and the attention to detail (two pairs of legs sticking out of a bush is a personal favourite) means that you could pour over each page for hours at a time.
This book has pride of place in my flat now and I would really life to gift every person I know a copy for Christmas, I can’t think of anything more delicious than curling up with it by the fire with twinkling fairy lights from the near by tree, it would be BLISS! If you haven’t tried a graphic novel before let Hero be your guide, you couldn’t find a better one.
The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg £18.99 (Vintage)