Nanjing: The Burning City Review: Honor and Sacrifice

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By Daniel Schwartz

Contributing Guest Reviewer

(Victor Valley)– In 1937, Japanese Imperial forces captured the Chinese capital city of Nanjing. The events that followed have come to be known as the Nanjing Massacre. This large-scale tragedy involves the invading army committing horrible acts against the Chinese soldiers (and civilians) that did not flee the city.

Nanjing: The Burning City is the fictional story of 2 Chinese soldiers who are trying to escape the occupied city before they can be captured or killed. Meeting stranded residents and coming across horrific crimes, the tale of these 2 soldiers captures a small snapshot of the terrible events that took place in the captured capital.

Ethan Young does a masterful job of drawing the reader into the story with his images and words (Young does double duty as the writer and illustrator). The black and white coloring fits the tone of the piece perfectly (many times throughout, I was so into the story that I forgot it was in black and white) and never distracts from what is happening on the page.

The characters created for this fiction set against real events are instantly likeable and the reader finds themselves rooting for these people attempting to escape the massacre taking place around them.

There was quite a bit of buzz surrounding this project as it was being released. That buzz was well earned. Young delivers a touching tale of sacrifice and humanity that also shines the spotlight onto a terribly tragedy that must never be forgotten.

Rating: 5 out of 5. This is a touching story that breaks your heart and never lets you forget what happened as Nanjing burned.

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