Squire & Knight


Squire is the brainy sidekick to the brawny Sir Kelton, a knight whose reputation precedes him but never quite seems to prove itself. Regardless, while Sir Kelton is heralded as a hero, Squire stands quietly by, more interested in books and knowledge than sword fighting and rescuing. When the two come across a desolate village that appears cursed by the presence of a dragon, Sir Kelton vows to slay the beast and rides off to save the town. Squire, preferring to stay behind, notices something amiss. Interest piqued by the townspeople’s strange stories, he begins to investigate, and soon, little pieces begin to fall into place.

Prolific cartoonist Scott Chantler’s middle grade graphic novel Squire & Knight is a short, sweet story about the power of curiosity and the idea that strength and confidence aren’t everything. Chantler illustrates in a simple yet bold style, using only neutral shades and orange tones. The lone ruddy hue pops against otherwise monochrome backgrounds, guiding the reader’s attention through the subtly comedic storyline.

Chantler employs classic fantasy tropes—the sidelined sidekick to the daring knight, a treasure-hoarding dragon—while also subverting expectations. Squire, whose accomplishments and intelligence are frequently ignored by his noble employer, is the true brains behind their entire operation, while the dragon, despite appearances, just wants to collect his treasures in peace. The voices of the characters are dynamic and easy to hear in the reader’s mind. (For this reader, the dragon sounds exactly like Billy Crystal.)

Squire & Knight may not be revolutionary in form or subject, but it’s certainly an enjoyable read that champions the shy, the brainy and the inquisitive. This is the first volume of a planned duology, so we can look forward to at least one more adventure of Squire and his knight. 

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