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Championess by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas is an action-packed story of strength and perseverance despite the odds being stacked against you. It’s no secret that I love any story about sports, and I was excited to see that this one is based on a true story. The main character, Elizabeth Wilkinson, has inspiring toughness, and the gorgeous art makes her story even more compelling. I would definitely recommend this one to those looking for a fresh graphic novel that will keep your eyes glued to the page.Title: Championess
Author: Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas
Also by this author: These Vicious Masks
Illustrator: Amanda Perez Puentes
Publisher: Legendary Comics
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Based on a true story, in eighteenth century London, Elizabeth Wilkinson struggles to make ends meet for her and her sister Tess while facing the fiercest female bare-knuckle boxers of her day.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: Championess by Sharun Tanker & Kelly Zekas
In 18th century London, bare-knuckle boxer Elizabeth Wilkinson fights in hopes of earning money to help her sister pay off her debts. However, the only way for her to earn enough money is to train with famous boxer James Figg, who refuses to take her on because she is a woman. In order to be taken seriously, Elizabeth publicly challenges another woman to a fight, claiming to be training under Figg. This graphic novel is based on a true story, and I enjoyed how it includes details like Elizabeth’s real challenge that was printed in the newspaper. The story also goes beyond just fighting, commenting on racism and sexism as Elizabeth fights her way to the top.
❀ Dynamic Main Character
Learning about Elizabeth Wilkinson is so interesting, and the authors have rendered her into a dynamic character. She is strong and confident in a male-dominated sport, and in a male-dominated society, and I liked the way the past is woven in with the present, digging deeper into her character. Elizabeth is powerful when we first meet her, but with the help of James Stokes, she refines her technique and becomes even stronger. Stokes is another lovable character, and I enjoyed reading about the way he and Elizabeth make each other stronger.
❀ Stunning Art
The art style in this graphic novel is stunning, and it complements the plot well. Illustrator Amanda Perez Puentes captures Elizabeth’s power during each fight, as well as the emotions behind each scene. I also liked the characterization, including the costumes and expressions. This creates a complete atmosphere and makes for a more immersive reading experience.
❀ Action-Packed and Empowering
Championess by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas is an action-packed and empowering story about an underdog who rises to the top. I enjoyed the complex main character, and the artwork makes the story even more powerful. Fans of books that are historical yet humorous will love this one.