Early Book Review: The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks is a middle grade to young adult graphic novel that is currently scheduled for release on April 5th 2016. Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don't let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders. Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred, a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let's hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.

The Nameless City is another great graphic novel from Hicks. There are a couple layers to this book, and exploring either would male the book good, but she steps it up a notch. Kaidu has come to the city to meet his father, and to become part of his nation’s army. However, he does not like fighting, he would much rather read. While exploring the city he encounters Rat, a girl around his age that has always lived there. Her life is hard, and she seems to be as well. On the surface the story is about these two people from very different worlds coming together and coming to understand each other. Kaidu also comes to love the city in the process. It is a coming of age story, a story about courage, and about overcoming stereotypes and cultural limitations. It is about human nature and the instinct we all seem to have to mistrust anything or anyone that is other, while putting up boundaries between all the variations of ‘us’ and ’them’ without understanding that everyone else is doing the exact same thing. Topping this multi-layer novel with plenty of deep thinking, there is also action, humor, and beautiful artwork. It is a win all around.

The Nameless City is a wonderful graphic novel for the middle grade and older set. There are heavy aspects of the story, but there is also humor and a great sense of how real these characters, and the city, are despite the fact that it is fiction. I highly recommend this graphic novel. 
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