The Tea Dragon Festival ARC Review! // this artwork is too gorgeous wow

Hi friends! I have no idea how to start this review. Aren’t you impressed by my blogging skills? I literally haven’t stopped smiling since I got approved to read this, so thank you NetGalley and Oni Press for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

You might be wondering: Kaya, you haven’t read the first book, what on mint chocolate chip earth do you think you’re doing reading the companion novel? My answer?

you’re probably going to be seeing this GIF a lot from now on cuz i freaking love it

But luckily, you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the companion novel! The world-building is seamless, and I believe this one follows a whole new story, although there are some cameos!

✨The artwork was absolutely everything. I don’t really know how to describe it, but the way it was drawn and the colors that were chosen made me feel some warm, fluffy things. I reread several scenes just to bask in the gloriously gorgeous art!

✨The diversity was so seamless and lovely. I’m pretty sure that nearly the entire village was POC? There were quite a few LGTBQ characters as well. One of the things, though, that I absolutely adored was that there was a deaf character and the entire village learned sign language to communicate with her! The author even put a list of ASL resources at the end of the book for further research. I couldn’t stop smiling at how diverse the cast was, because it’s so lovely to be recognized, and feel other minorities being recognized too!

Some other points:

  • I WANT A TEA DRAGON. They’re so cute and small and adorable! And I mean, different kinds of tea depending on the dragon? That is a unique concept we all never knew we needed.
  • Allllll the feels. Watching Rinn, who was struggling to pursue a dream of being an amazing cook, and Aedhan the dragon struggling with spoiler-y things, was so heartwarming and emotional.

“Just because something comes easily to you, does not mean it has no value. You find it effortless because you love it, and that is why it is your gift.” 

✨The food scene and the forest scene that I can’t go into detail about made my flipping day. The plot, the characters, the artwork…it was simple and lovely and such pure perfection.

❄️There aren’t enough books in this series. I want, no I need, a million more*.

*look i’m a needy person okay. don’t let me get obsessed with anyone or anything.

And I guess that’s it! If you’re on the fence about this because it’s a graphic novel, or because it’s middle-grade, please just go for it! Sitting on fences is uncomfortable anyhow. Tell me: have you read the first book? What’s your favorite graphic novel with gorgeous artwork? Don’t forget to add on Goodreads or pre-order on Amazon! Now excuse me while I go hunt down the first one and read through it!

Quotes were taken from the ARC and may not appear in the finished copy.

11 thoughts on “The Tea Dragon Festival ARC Review! // this artwork is too gorgeous wow

  1. This looks so cute! ❤ Honestly, just the cover alone makes me want to read this – it's so charming.
    I haven't read many graphic novels but one that I really enjoyed recently was Mooncakes. It also featured a diverse cast of characters similar to this one (deaf, LGBTQ). I think you'd enjoy it if you haven't already read it. Great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just read this the other day and I loved it, I have read the first book and I loved this one even more. I absolutely loved the art work, and the tea dragons were so cute, my favorite was Chamomile, he looked so grumpy.

    Liked by 1 person

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