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“I thought I forfeited the honor of wielding a sword when I caused the deaths of so many people,” Link. —The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol 1
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol 1
by Akira Himekawa
AR Test, Good for Reluctant Readers, Graphic Novel
Link is a simple boy in a small, peaceful village. However, he lived a very different life before he came to the village less than two years ago. Before, he had been training with the sword to become a border guard. Then, in a tragic accident, Link’s entire town was sucked into the blackness by a Death God and vanished. Link fled in terror and has been hiding ever since, though he hasn’t been able to escape his guilt.
When monsters invade Link’s safe haven, he springs into action to defend his new home. But these strange creatures are nothing like Link has ever seen before. Will he be able to redeem himself and save his new home? Or is Link doomed to watch another town be swallowed by the darkness?
Link himself is an enjoyable and relatable hero. He has a sense of humor despite his tragic past. He tries to be patient with the children of the village, and when he loses his temper, he regrets it later. However, the other supporting characters in the story are undeveloped caricatures.
There are some mild violent and sexual images, though these do not abound. Specifically, the monsters and Death God may be frightening to younger readers, and parents may not appreciate the bikini-clad princess that appears in the first chapter. However, for the 13+ recommended age range, the images in this graphic novel are much less graphic and sexual than other popular teen graphic novels. Still, the graphic novel is noticeably darker than the video game, such as when the Death God is introduced, Link suffers a gruesome injury.
For fans of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess video game, this graphic novel will be an enjoyable read. Though the graphic novel diverges from the video game, there are enough similarities that gamers will recognize and enjoy. Link is given a different backstory in this graphic novel, which provides enough of a difference that it is not simply a repeat of the game. For readers who have not played the video game and are meeting Link for the first time, they may find that the plot drags. While there is plenty of action at the end, the first half of the book meanders around, introducing characters and aspects of Link’s life from the video game. While interesting enough to gamers, there might not be enough action to hook new readers.
- The Twilight Princess, who only appears in chapter one, is dressed in a bikini top and sarong skirt that bares most of her legs.
- When Link gets rammed by a goat, he thinks, “It’s weird for Ordon goats to be so aggressive. Is it mating season?”
- The sorcerer Zant attacks the Twilight Princess. There is a giant explosion as he overpowers her.
- A village girl is shot in the shoulder with an arrow and then kidnapped.
- Link fights the monster trying to kidnap a village girl. The fight is depicted over 11 pages. At the end of it, Link’s arm is cut off.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Link lives in a world with magic and monsters.
- The sorcerer, Zant, turns the people who live in the Twilight Realm into monsters to serve his evil plans.
- When Link pulls a sword from a stone, his village is sucked into darkness by a terrifying Death God, who appears like a skeleton with glowing eyes.
- There are drawings of goblins, skeletons, and other monsters that invade the realm and terrify the villagers. Most of this attack is not shown. One of the monsters threatens the people who don’t live in the twilight realm, saying, “I will curse them all.”
- When Link travels to the Twilight Realm, he is transformed into a giant wolf.
- The villagers speak of the spirits that protect them several times. For instance, a village woman tells Link, “The spirits give strength to all manner of things. They bring light and consciousness to all things.”
- There is a legend that when evil people tried to use magic to take over the land, “the goddesses grew angry at this affront and sent four spirits of light to seal the upstarts’ magical power away in the shadow crystal. Furthermore, the mirror of shadow prevented these wizards from entering the world of light. They were exiled to the twilight realm.”
- A spirit of light heals Link’s arm after it is cut off in a battle.
by Morgan Lynn