Review: Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

boxers and saints by gene luen yang

China, 1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.

Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers–commoners trained in kung fu–who fight to free China from “foreign devils.”

Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of “secondary devils”–Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity.

Description taken from Goodreads.

BOXERS and SAINTS are actually two different books by Gene Luen Yang written as a two-book series (commonly referred to as a duology), and it’s hard to review both of them, but at the same time I feel like it’s necessary because these two books literally tell two different sides of one story.

BOXERS and SAINTS tells the story of the Boxer Rebellion that happened in China during the Qing Dynasty, specifically during 1898 and 1900. It was a violent anti-Christian and anti-Western movement. In this series, Gene Luen Yang chronicles the events of this war and two kids who are caught on either side, both finding refuge in the side that they are on. The blurb above is the blurb of BOXERS.

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting when I went into BOXERS & SAINTS. It doesn’t really matter which one that you choose to read first.


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