Author: Nadia Shammas
Illustrator: Sara Alfageeh
This YA fantasy graphic novel follows fourteen year-old Aiza, who trains to become a knight for a war-torn empire while hiding her true background as a girl from conquered lands.
Born a second-class citizen, Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the recently colonized Ornu people, it's her only path to full citizenship.
Now, ravaged by famine, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again. This means Aiza can finally enlist to the competitive Squire training program.
The camp is nothing like she envisioned. Hiding her Ornu status in order to blend in, Aiza must navigate friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the merciless General Hende. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the “greater good” Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in more danger than she ever imagined.
She will have to choose: loyalty to her heart and heritage, or loyalty to the empire.
“An engaging graphic novel that examines the nature of prejudice and the cost of imperial expansion.” -Kirkus Reviews
“With its high stakes and robust characters, Squire feels like a new take on Avatar: The Last Airbender.” -Horn Book Magazine