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Graphic Novel Review: Into the Heartlands

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What if you were one of the smartest teenagers in the world and you had THE MOST annoying older brother? Long before the events of the movie Black Panther, Shuri and T’Challa were a couple of bickering siblings. Read on for a review of the upcoming graphic novel Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands by Roseanne A. Brown!

Into the Heartlands review (book cover showing young shuri and t'challa running)

Books are provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands begins with the ever important Soul Washing Day in Wakanda, and young Shuri and T’Challa kick off a series of events when they argue during the ceremony.  The people of Wakanda begin falling sick including Shuri’s mother and Shuri starts to think her argument with T’Challa caused a curse to fall on their land.  Determined to save the people of Wakanda, Shuri dives into her research and finds the key to healing everyone but it will take her far from the palace and into the mysterious Heartlands.  

T’Challa joins her and the two enter the mythical Heartlands to find the very thing that will save Queen Ramonda and the rest of the ill Wakandans.  The problem is, Shuri and T’Challa will have to stop bickering and start working together to find the cure but a powerful ancestor is looking for revenge and Shuri and T’Challa might fall into his trap!

The popularity of Black Panther movie has shown that there is a large audience for more Shuri stories and Into the Heartlands is a perfect read for those who love graphic novels.  Sibling rivalry means that Shuri and T’Challa are in constant competition but Into The Heartlands is an adventure story that has the siblings working together to save the people of their beloved country.  It also brings some interesting themes into focus, like the banishment of a Wakandan community and the eventual reparations to bring them back into the Wakandan fold.

Because I received an advance copy only a handful of pages are colorized but those illustrations (from a team of talented women!) capture the beautiful world of Wakanda.  The attention to detail is impeccable as Shuri’s braids have texture and the scenes of the Soul Washing ceremony are beautiful with pops of bold teal and aqua to represent the water.  Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands isn’t only for Black Panther fans, it’s for any graphic novel lover who appreciates superhero prequels with diverse characters.

Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands releases on April 5, 2022!

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