Crystal Smith's Reviews > Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
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Jun 22, 11

Read in June, 2011, read count: 2

Although I have limited experience with graphic novels, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale ranks among my favourites and not just because it has a strong female protagonist.

In addition to showing Rapunzel as strong and fully capable of taking care of herself, this book communicates the story without excessive violence. There are some scenes with fighting, but none of the blood that often appears in graphic novels.

There is plenty of adventure and some fantastical creatures, like the giant sea serpent and wild boar that Rapunzel wrestles into submission.

One of the downfalls of many graphic novels is the sexualization of female characters. (Anyone familiar with Thorn in the Bone series knows what I mean.) Not so in Rapunzel's Revenge. When she first emerges as a teenager from her tree prison, her dress (which she has been wearing since childhood) is torn and short, but there are no upper thigh shots or seductive poses. Think Elizabeth from The Paper Bag Princess more so than the aforementioned Thorn.

This book is not without romance, but it comes at the end when Rapunzel falls for her male co-adventurer on her own terms, without ever having been rescued or saved by him.

Perhaps the best indicator of this book's quality is my son's reaction. He loved it so much that he read it repeatedly in the first week I brought it home from the library. The only part that he didn't like was the "mushy" stuff at the end, where Rapunzel and her friend Jack share a kiss. The scene was hardly mushy by Disney standards, but just enough to bug an eight-year-old boy. Highly recommended for boys and girls.
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