The Bottom Line
- Quick paced story keeps reader's attention
- Strong female character, breaks fairy tale stereotype
- Clever take on the famous tale
- Wish there was a sequel, or better yet, a series
- Fun and fast-paced
- Strong female protagonist
- Nathan Hale's sequential illustrations set the mood and bring the story to life
- In this interpretation of the story, Rapunzel waits for no man, or prince, to rescue her from her fate.
- A true fairy tale, in theory anyway, with happy endings and justice for all
Guide Review - Review of Rapunzel's Revenge
It's really a shame that children's book publishers haven't jumped on the graphic novel in a big way. There aren't too many choice offerings for tweens wanting to lose themselves in a great story, with graphic support. There are even fewer choices for tween girls, which is really surprising to me.
While it's true that graphic novels aren't every reader's preferred cup of tea, they are a wonderful option for tweens who just can't seem to make it through a more involved, and wordy novel. How many adults today preferred comic books to traditional stories when they were young? Quite a few, I would expect.
That said, I'm hopeful that Shannon Hale's latest work, Rapunzel's Revenge, may energize the tween graphic novel market. Hale, best known as the Newbery-Honor winning author of The Princess Academy, co-authored Rapunzel's Revenge with her husband, Dean. The result is a non-traditional take on the age-old fairy tale, a take that will likely appeal to tween girls looking for a little adventure.
If you think you know the tale of Rapunzel, think again. The Hales, along with illustrator Nathan Hale (who by the way is no relation to the authors) have given this story a pretty clever makeover. In this version Rapunzel is dressed, not in taffeta, nor is she housed in a castle. Her prison is a beautiful, but terribly lonely compound nestled in the Old West, (that's right, The Old West). The compound is surrounded by despair, dirt, and pollution caused by her tyrannical Mother Gothel, who presides over the territory and its human workforce.
When Rapunzel challenges Mother Gothel, she's carted off into the woods and placed into an ever growing tree, leaving her trapped and alone for years. Eventually she uses her long hair as a tool for escape, and carries on, running into Wild West bandits, outlaws, saloon regulars, and sheriff's on the take.