Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, Illustrated by Nathan Hale

Rapunzel's Revenge
Shannon Hale

I saw that Rapunzel’s Revenge was for sale at bookcloseouts.com for $2.99 and my husband is a lovely, lovely enabler so he bought it along with 6 other books.. ahem.

The Premise: This is a graphic novel adaptation of Rapunzel with a twist. Rapunzel grows up in a huge, lovely house, surrounded by servants and greenery, but she always wonders why she has strange dreams about another family and why her mother, Gothel won’t let her see what is on the other side of the wall that towers high above their mansion.  Every year, Rapunzel asks, but Gothel won’t answer, until finally Rapunzel finds out herself. This leads to a discovery which makes Rapunzel turn against Gothel and kicks off a series of adventures for Rapunzel on her way to enact revenge.

My Thoughts: I really liked this one. Shannon Hale is known for her young adult novels that are based on fairy tales, but this is her first graphic novel adaptation, which she wrote with her husband. The illustrator has the same last name, but isn’t a relation. As a graphic novel, it’s easily read in one sitting, and the artwork is really good (and it’s all in color). The layout of the panels is easy to read and the faces of the characters are consistent. The story spans a few years, and so we see Rapunzel growing from a child to a young woman, which is conveyed well in the art — she still looks like herself throughout the process, as do the other characters. I thought the artwork easily conveyed desert canyons, lush jungles, strange places, and rough people. It was all very adventurous and fun to look at.

The story was great too. Rapunzel doesn’t need to get rescued by the prince from her tower, she figures how to get out herself. And she’s not put in there by her witch mother to keep her away from men, she’s put in there for actually defying Gothel, who is a tyrant in this world. And Rapunzel kicks butt! Look at the cover for this graphic novel — that should give you an idea. Rapunzel goes through a lot on her way from her tower back to Gothel to show her that “she can’t be a bully without earning a swift kick in the rear”. I loved that independence. The use of her hair as a weapon (it’s a lasso, a whip, a rope) was one of my favorite touches.

There’s a a Wild West theme in the story, because the world has been turned into “every body for themselves” after Gothel took over.  I also liked the hints of other fairy tales that are peppered throughout which are like inside jokes for fairytale and tall tale lovers. I’m dying to talk about it in the review, but I think it’s more fun to find them yourselves, so I will restrain myself.

Overall: The inside of this book met the expectations I had after seeing the cool cover. Lots of fun and I hope there’s a sequel!

Buy: Amazon | Powells | Bookcloseouts

Other reviews:
Bookmoot – “who doesn’t enjoy a new twist on an old story?”
Books and Other Thoughts – “great fun to read”

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