Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)” as Want to Read:
Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Harriet the Invincible

(Hamster Princess #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,323 ratings  ·  535 reviews
Sleeping Beauty gets a feisty, furry twist in this hilarious new comic series from the creator of Dragonbreath
Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She may be quite stunning in the rodent realm (you'll have to trust her on this one), but she is not so great at trailing around the palace looking ethereal or sighing a lot. She finds the royal life rather . . . d
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Dial Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,323 ratings  ·  535 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)
Lois Bujold
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new chapter-book readers, anyone else who isn't above reading kids' books
Well, that was fun. The assorted adventures of a hamster princess who figures out that if the christening curse is supposed to work on her 12th birthday, it must needs also keep her alive until then. Therefore...

I first encountered Ursula Vernon through her brilliant adult short story "Toad Words". (Late off the mark, true, for anyone who knew her from her long-running webcomic Digger.) This is Vernon in her kids'-book mode. Anyone who grew up on the "Fractured Fairy Tales" in Rocky and Bullwink
So this would have been my FAVOURITE thing as a kid. It's basically everything I would have ever wanted:

1. Fairy tale retelling
2. Fairy tale retelling with reversed traditional gender roles
3. Fairy tale retelling of fairy tales that are less common (The Princess on the Glass hill)
4. Fairy tale retelling with reversed expectations for villains (Crones baking cookies, ogres reverting to vegetarianism, etc.)

Any one of those things would have sold me, but all four? IT IS MAGICAL.
La Coccinelle
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The synopsis says it's perfect for fans of Babymouse, but I'm definitely not one of those. Still, I came across one of Vernon's stories in an anthology and thought it was hilarious, so I decided to give this book a try. Harriet the Invincible is actually a highly enjoyable illustrated chapter book. I even want to keep going with the series (which doesn't always happen)!

Based on the story of Sleeping Beauty, Harriet the Invincible begins with a curse. O
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick, light-hearted, and fun fairy-tale twist, with delightful illustrations. I'll be passing this one along to my 10-year-old son for him to read next. ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a princess story I like! Harriet Hamsterbone is cursed by the evil Fairy Ratshade to prick herself on a hamster wheel on her twelfth birthday and fall into a deep sleep. Once Harriet finds out about the curse when she’s ten years old, she realizes she can’t be hurt till then. So, Harriet takes to adventuring, jousting and ridding the world of monsters.
Harriet is wonderful, determined and doesn’t suffer fools. But while she’s gaining all sorts of great experience and learning to solve pr
Ms. Yingling
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Copy received from the publisher

Have to say that I was a little more excited just to get this book! Dragonbreath is so funny, and I knew this would be good!

Harriet is cursed soon after birth by the evil fairy Ratshade to prick herself on a hamster wheel when she turns 12. When she is ten, her parents tell her, and Harriet thinks it's great: she is invincible for two years. She takes off across the country, cliff diving, slaying mean Ogrecats, and generally having adventures. When she comes home,
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Can we talk about Harriet Hamsterbone, because I am in love with her.

Harriet the Invincible is the first book in the Hamster Princess series, which could only have been written by Ursula Vernon and is in fact her newest series. I love it already. I cannot say how much I love it. I have owned this book for two hours and I want it to make its home with me forever.

So Harriet is a princess (obviously) and since her father failed to invite the evil fairy to her christening (which is lampshaded) (of c
Marie the Librarian
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was hillarious and original and I loved it! The world needs more stories about princesses who arent very princesslike but then are because they show that princesses can be kickass as well!!
M.  [storme reads a lot]
Adorable. Where were these books when I was young.
Skye Kilaen
Harriet Hamsterbone is possibly the best fictional princess ever created. Vernon's writing is gold, and her cartooning is absolutely perfect here. I wish I'd read this aloud with our 8yo son, because acting out all the characters (and the narrator, who has much personality) would have been so fun. Instead, I shoved it into his hands right after I finished it and demanded he read it IMMEDIATELY. When he was done, we did the same thing to his father.

What's it about? Cursed as a baby, Harriet is fa
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This is a brilliant little sleeping beauty retelling with a quick glass mountain retelling wedged in the middle. Harriet is not your typical princess, she finds out she was cursed to fall into a sleep on her 12th birthday after a scratch from a hamster wheel... however this also leads to her discovery that the curse is so strongly pre-determined it HAS to occur, which means she's completely invincible! As such, Harriet sets off (riding her quail mount) and has amazing adventures. She returns for ...more
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. I love all of Ursula Vernon's stuff, but this retelling of Sleeping Beauty is so great! It's snarky and heartfelt and has A MAINSPLAINING HAMSTER PRINCE who is rejected as a love interest. Actually, there's no "love interest" because the main character is 12 and she doesn't want a betrothed. I can't wait to read the next one! ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Princess Harriet Hamsterbone has just found out a terrible secret. It seems like on her 12th birthday, she’ll be forced to prick her finger on a hamster wheel and…well, you know the story. Princess Harriet is our Sleeping Beauty and after her parents didn’t invite the evil fairy Ratshade to her christening, this curse ended up happening. The other three fairies also provide blessings to counteract it, practical things like making sure that the Princess doesn’t have to eat, drink or use the washr ...more
Ritika Chhabra
Follow Just A Girl High On Books for more reviews.

I picked up Harriet the Invincible when a friend of mine recommended it to me because it was a graphic novel series that she particularly loved. And of course, I ended up loving this book. It was so hilarious and so...well, so...unusual. Here is a "hamster" princess who is cursed by the wicked fairy on the day of her christening because she wasn't invited to the occasion and instead of feeling sorry for herself for being the one who was cursed, s
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairy-tales
2nd read: I wrote down some vocabulary for my mum, and, well. It's just as fun as the first time. And I'm super impressed by Ursula Vernon's writing style.

Harriet page 42

This is AWESOME. This has all usual sass from Ursula Vernon and we get absolutely no respite from it. It's non-stop awesome snark. This tome is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a twist. The twist isn't that the princess is a hamster, it's much better than that. A perfect read for a day where my fevered brain is vetoing anyth
Girl power meets Sleeping Beauty in this middle grade graphic novel about a hamster princess with an attitude. Princess Harriet Hamsterbone is cursed as a baby to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she's twelve. This feisty princess quickly figures out she's invincible until she's twelve and breaks all the princess rules and goes adventuring. A laugh out loud funny tale that defies fairy tale stereotypes and leaves the reader wanting more. ...more
3.5 out of 5
Harriet the Invincible is a smart, funny and light-hearted feminist take on fairy tale stereotypes through an original and highly entertaining retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Don't get fooled by all that pinkness and glitter on the cover :)
Also, the format of this book (a chapter book with integrated graphic novel-like illustrations) is extremely effective!
Katy Jean Vance
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! Amazing! Tongue in cheek! I want more of Hamster Princess Harriet! Seriously, what a great book for upper elementary. Feminist and funny, it is the anti princess story with an ass kicking princess, who yes, happens to be a hamster. :)
Abby Johnson
Such a delightful, cute, and funny book! This is Babymouse meets Whatever After and I'm going to booktalk this one all over the place this school year. :) ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book.
Kris Patrick
Jan 19, 2017 marked it as abandoned
I found it difficult to switch between graphic novel format and text narrative. Then again, I'm not nine.

Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Books about anthropomorphic rodents are just better than other books and I don't know why but there it is ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked it. I liked that she is strong and tough like my friend Alivia. She is not a princess-y princess.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it

Huge thank you to Penguin Canada for this ARC!

Earlier in the year I had the chance to read Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon and I thought it was a wonderful, quirky read. In this retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Harriet is cursed as a child. However, the curse doesn't exactly go as planned, because she was made invincible until her twelfth birthday. Harriet, completely in love with her new found powers, enjoys fighting dragons, jumping off high cliffs, and never worrying about the possibilities
Amanda Himes
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
My eight-year-old daughter and I read this book together. What fun!
Elisabeth Cole
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
"Harriet the Invincible" is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with some twists. Harriet is a princess who is targeted to be cursed by the evil rat-fairy but by mistake everyone else in the castle is put to sleep. It's up to fraction-loving Harriet to figure out how to break the curse and she travels the countryside to do just that.

What I liked about this book: Harriet was a really strong female character, a princess who didn't want to act like one. Instead she wanted to slay dragons and fight ogres
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5. At age 10, Harriet the Hamster learns that she is cursed to prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep (that can only be awakened with a prince's kiss)--a la Sleeping Beauty--at age 12. This is GREAT news to Harriet! It means she can finally do the forbidden daredevil things she's always longed to, because a guarantee that you'll live until 12 is a guarantee that you won't die before then:

"Princess Harriet celebrated her newfound freedom by jumping from the top of the highest tower in the
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: total-favorites

Once upon a time gets a shake-up in “Hamster Princess, Harriet the Invisible,” the first offering in a new series by Ursula Vernon, best known for her “Dragonbreath” series. There are laughs aplenty, as well as abundant wordplay, as Harriet saves the day in a tale that’s a spin-off of the classic “Sleeping Beauty.”
Harriet Hamsterbone is a riotous rodent who excels in fractions and checkers. Brave beyond compare, Harriet isn’t your fair. cookie-cutter princess. She clomps about the castle instea
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aty-2019
As a long time fan of Ursula Vernon (having followed her blog and had her follow mine for close to 15 years), I could not resist returning to her kids books for a bit of light reading, and I'm really glad I did.

Harriet the Hamster is my new hero. She's like Danny Dragonbreath but with more sass and spirit. This story is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty - but with a twist. When Harriet was born, she was cursed by a wicked fairy to prick herself on a hamster wheel and die on her 12th birthday. Lucki
Mary Catelli
The comic story of a hamster princess whose Sleeping Beauty tale is a bit derailed by her being herself. A pretty standard rebellious princess, to be sure, but brightly drawn and with a quirky fondness for fractions.

She is invincible only for the first part, where she is under the curse, because she knows that the curse will keep her alive to die the right way. She takes advantage of this to joust and jump from cliffs and hunt down ogrecats. Meanwhile, her parents line up a prince to kiss her.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Princess in Black (The Princess in Black, #1)
  • Comics Squad: Recess! (Comics Squad, #1)
  • Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, #1)
  • Baloney and Friends
  • Unicorn on a Roll (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, #2)
  • The First Misadventure (Chicken Squad Misadventure #1)
  • The Secret of Danger Point (Surfside Girls, #1)
  • The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher (Family Fletcher, #1)
  • Jubilee
  • The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black, #3)
  • Book Uncle and Me
  • Dory Fantasmagory
  • Diary of a Mad Brownie (The Enchanted Files, #1)
  • Payback on Poplar Lane
  • Unicorn Bowling (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, #9)
  • Secret Coders (Secret Coders, #1)
  • Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras, #1)
  • Middle School Misadventures
See similar books…
Ursula Vernon is a freelance writer, artist and illustrator. She is best known for the webcomic Digger and the children's books Dragonbreath and Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew. Ursula is also a prolific painter and the creator of the Biting Pear of Salamanca, a work which became an internet meme in the form of the "LOL WUT" pear.

Ursula's cover for Best in Show

Other books in the series

Hamster Princess (6 books)
  • Of Mice and Magic (Hamster Princess, #2)
  • Ratpunzel (Hamster Princess, #3)
  • Giant Trouble (Hamster Princess #4)
  • Whiskerella (Hamster Princess #5)
  • Little Red Rodent Hood (Hamster Princess #6)

Related Articles

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as a Dumpster fire of a year. But the nice thing about time is that it...
437 likes · 208 comments
“For a princess, you are a singularly bloody-minded little thug” 0 likes
“The assembled crowd shrank back when the wicked fairy appeared, for it was immediately obvious to all that this was no ordinary fairy, but in fact the wicked Ratshade, who had placed third on Fairy God-Mouse Today’s Most Wicked List for eleven years running.” 0 likes
More quotes…