Talli, daughter of the moon

Talli – Graphic Novel Review

Thank you to translator François Vigneault for providing me with a copy of Talli: Daughter of the Moon vol 1 by author Sourya Sihachakr in exchange for this honest review.

Fantasy is a difficult genre for me. I don’t read a lot of it because it doesn’t resonate with me. But every once in a while a fantasy story comes along that steps outside of the dominant tropes and does catch my attention.

Talli is the kind of pro-feminist fantasy book that we all need more of. And no, I’m not talking about placing someone with she/her pronouns in the classic Jesus/chosen one story structure and calling it a day. I’m talking about creative stories with new things to say. Modern stories even if they are placed in the typically medieval fantasy setting.

Now, Talli is a chosen one so I may already sound hypocritical. The difference here is that no matter what, there are aspects of her powers that are outside of her control. She cannot train that away and become an all powerful, indestructible savior. Having flaws already sets her apart from the traditional hero archetypes that have become so dull.

lady talli is regal
lady Talli is regal

She also has a young goofiness that compliments her regality. She was adopted daughter to a Lord but she is still quite young and naïve. She is also ruled by her emotions as all young people are.

The graphic novel starts with Talli in exile. She’s being hunted for the bounty that has been placed on capturing her and bringing her back alive. Her faithful bodyguard is with her and an unknown woman recognizes her and offers to help.

It turns out that Lady Talli has ties to a group known as the heretics. They are a group that has rejected the state religion and have been outcast. Talli has connections to them that she was never made aware of.

Lady Talli discovers that she is the last summoner. She’s known for a few moon cycles now that she has a summoning power. You see, she can summon a chimera every time she draws blood. However, this also means that every time she menstruates a giant monster shows up. Imagine this happening during puberty and having no explanation!

lady talli becomes emotional
lady talli becomes emotional

Clearly, this power is outside of her control as often as once a month. If she does summon the chimera on purpose she theoretically could control it but she hasn’t been able to practice since she was locked away at her previous residence.

I absolutely love this concept. The chaos of womanhood has so much fertile ground to cover in literature and other media and it is only recently being explored. I am excited to continue this series and see how Talli progresses in her journey to becoming an adult. The story is less about her being a savior and more about coming to terms with her nature.

4/5 moons 🌙🌙🌙🌙

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For more puberty metaphors check out Kaiju Girl Caramelise

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