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Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
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When Rapunzel turned twelve she defied Mother Gothel and climbed over the walls of her home, curious about what lay on the other side of their beautiful gardens. Outside the walls she found desert wasteland and enslaved people, one of whom was her true mother. Angered, Mother Gothel locked her away in a tower, leaving her to outgrow her rebellion. But instead of staying put, Rapunzel grew more determined, nearly as determined as her hair was long.

So when she breaks out of her tower, she discovers that her hair makes mighty fine lassos and sets off to save her mother and take down Mother Gothel. Teaming up with her new ne’er-do-well friend Jack, the two become outlaws as they fight wild beasts and make their way to Mother Gothel’s garden, to have revenge for all the folks she’s hurt.

The only thing better than a Shannon Hale book appears to be an Shannon Hale comic book. Rapunzel’s Revenge is Shannon’s western take on the tale of Rapunzel and benefits with an amazing comic book style and imagery. Everything that one expects to get from Hale is delivered.

First off, Hale has a wonderful voice and pulls off the great contradiction of image and words that comics can give us. By this I mean things like the narration being "At last we rescued the girl and carried her home while she gratefully sang our praises…" while the image is a bratty little girl kicking and screaming until she gets carried by Jack.

Then there are the characters. Rapunzel and Jack (can you guess his tale?) are both wonderfully charming and delightful characters who I immediately took a liking to and whom I would love to read book upon book about. The villains and side characters were all equally interesting, and the world itself was well done.

As Hale often does, she mixed and blended different genres and tales until she came upon something unique. Rapunzel and her story are central, but it is against a western backdrop with Rapunzel using her braids as a lasso, giving a Zorro-like feel to the book.

Read the rest of my review at Bookwyrm Chrysalis :: YA Fantasy Book Reviews!
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