Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From pamperered princess to swashbuckling outlaw

Fairytale meets Western in this humorous, rollicking adventure tale featuring Rapunzel, a pampered only child growing up in a beautiful castle. Her mother, Gothel, is the ruler of the castle - at least, Rapunzel believes she is her mother.

When Rapunzel becomes dissatisfied with her life, yearning to see the world beyond the picture-perfect palace and gardens, beset by disturbing dreams that hint at forgotten people and places, Gothel grows angry. "Ignore the dreams, my dear," she says, "And they'll go away." But Rapunzel can't ignore them. Against Gothel's wishes, she finds a way out of the castle - and what she discovers beyond its walls shakes her world, leaving her horrified, angry and determined to take action.

And so her adventures begin - taking her from a safe, stultifying existence to the rough-and-tumble life of a wild west outlaw. When she teams up with Jack, a young man she meets in her travels, they journey together, experiencing all kinds of hilarious and hair-raising adventures. But Rapunzel knows she must return to face Gothel - yet how can she hope to defeat someone with such amazingly strong magical powers?

This graphic novel was great fun to read. I particularly enjoyed the slapstick humor and the many "inside" fairytale jokes that are a great payoff to fairytale fans. Rapunzel is an excellent, feisty, tough and kind heroine, and the wild west setting was a surprising and effective backdrop for the tale. I will be looking forward to further works by this talented team - and I hope I won't have to wait too long!

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Bookends: "'Punzie' and sidekick Jack are a great team with snarky repartee, a humorous flair, and friendship that hints of a budding romance."
Eva's Book Addiction: "Anyone who loves fractured fairy tales will dive right into this luscious tale, only wishing it were longer."


  1. Hey, I almost picked this one up last time I was at the library! I'm going there today so will see if it still on the shelf. Sounds great!

  2. Nicola - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  3. This one is on my I WANT! list. It sure does sound fun!

  4. Oooh, "inside" fairytale jokes! Fables is full of those too and I love it. I bet I'll also love this one.

  5. This is one of my favorites! Even my then-9-year-old daughter loved it. We giggled about it for weeks. The best part? They are working on a sequel all ready!

  6. Yep this is another one I have ready to read in 2009. I love Shannon Hale and am really looking forward to reading this after so many great reviews.

  7. Mariel - it sure is!

    Cat - I'm sure you'll enjoy it - I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on it.

    Nymeth - I really need to read Fables soon! My problem is that my library doesn't have very many of them. :-(

    Fuzzycricket - I'm glad you hear you and your daughter enjoyed it! Mine are excited to read it, too.

    Rhinoa - Isn't it fun having all these great books to look forward to?

  8. I really love Shannon Hale! I am not into graphic novels but I am going to give this one a try. If anything, I am sure my 9yod will love it.

  9. Ibeeeg - I think that you'll enjoy this one, since you love Shannon Hale. My 10-year-old picked it up (almost didn't let me finish it when she saw what I was reading) as soon as I finished it, and she became a book zombie until she was through with it. I love when that happens. :-) Hope you and/or your child enjoy it as much as we did!

  10. I've seen interviews with this author and she seems really interesting!

  11. I should check out some interviews with her, Ladytink. It would be fun to hear about how she and her husband worked on this graphic novel together. It must have been fun!


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