Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Rapunzel's Revenge #1

Rapunzel's Revenge

Rate this book
Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.

Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you've never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

144 pages, Hardcover

First published August 5, 2008

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Shannon Hale

109 books12.9k followers
Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge and its sequel Calamity Jack with husband Dean Hale. They live near Salt Lake City, Utah with their four small children, and their pet, a small, plastic pig.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5,723 (33%)
4 stars
5,731 (33%)
3 stars
4,119 (24%)
2 stars
1,144 (6%)
1 star
345 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,289 reviews
Profile Image for Calista.
3,803 reviews31.2k followers
July 19, 2019
The story of Rapunzel set in the wild west. I love how she uses her hair as lasso's. It's a fun story through and through. There are plenty of hints that her friend is Jack from Jack and the beanstalk and he has problems with giants back home. There is plenty of action and fun to be had in this tale.

This was better than I thought it would be. It really was a whole lot of fun. Plenty of twists and turns and the ending was fantastic. Plenty of magic and fairytale in this story. I would recommend this to anyone into the genre or a young reader who likes action and fairytale upgrades.
Profile Image for Melki.
5,672 reviews2,324 followers
July 25, 2014
  For horse thieving, kidnapping,
  jailbreaking, and using her own hair
  in a manner other than
  nature intended!

This is one spunky Rapunzel, a gal with gumption, well able to rescue her own doggone self from a tower, thank you!

She reminds me so much of Jessie from Toy Story 2! Rapunzel uses her long braids for roping and wrangling, tearing through a fairy tale that mixes it up with the Old West. There are cacti, giant snakes, coyotes and even a jackalope to contend with before she gets to share a kiss with the handsome "prince."

Dagnabbit! There was a mite too much crotchety old prospector talk for me, but on the whole, this is a rip-roaring good time with colorful characters and splashes of clever humor.
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews45.5k followers
July 1, 2021
you can tell by the title alone that this book is cool.

it's a graphic novel about badass fairytale princesses. that's all there is to it.

part of a project i'm doing where i review books i read a long time ago, and the word "review" is often generous.
Profile Image for Betsy.
Author 8 books2,711 followers
September 12, 2008
A popular novelist may be prone to looking at the whole of their oeuvre. They consider their past works, look to the future, and decide to write a graphic novel. What makes them do this? Is it the potential to reach whole new audiences? Is it the accessibility of the format? The trendiness of it all? Or it is something else? Could it be that graphic novels are the wave of the future? Could be. Certainly they offer an author a whole new way of looking at the literary format. Why an enterprising young man or woman – and man, could perhaps even take a fairy tale and do wondrous things with it. You could even, and maybe I’m just talking crazy stuff here, take the fairy tale of Rapunzel, slap it into a pseudo-cowboy/wizardry setting. Add in Newbery-Honor winner Shannon Hale, her husband, and a guy with the same last name who doesn’t happen to be related to either of them, and you have a rip-roaring tale of betrayal, escape, romance, and very long locks. Hypothetically, of course.

First things first. You are all familiar with the story of Rapunzel I assume, yes? Witch takes neighbor’s baby after the husband steals some of the rapunzel plant for his wife to eat. Witch keeps kid up a tower until the child’s hair grows long and she is eventually rescued by a prince. It’s all pretty basic stuff. Well that’s sort of the true story, but not exactly. For most of Rapunzel’s life she’s actually kept in a lovely castle with the woman she thinks is her mother, learning rope tricks from the guards and generally having a good time. One day the girl grows inordinately curious about the tall wall that surrounds her home and so she scales it. Consequently, what she sees from the top causes her to question everything about her life. As punishment for this act of rebelliousness Rapunzel is kept in the hollow of a tall tree where her hair grows at an inordinate rate. Each year her "mother" asks if she’s ready to be forgiven and each year Rapunzel stays the same. When she finally breaks out of her treetop prison she joins forces with a boy named Jack and the two of them set out to break the power of her “mother” and save the hardscrabble land around them.

Rapunzel is one of those fairy tale characters that remain both iconic and relatively unblemished. Disney never did a thing with Rapunzel, after all. When you think of her, you mind may refer to Paul O. Zelinsky’s Caldecott winning picture book or other images of her in literature. From a personal viewpoint, my first reference tends to be the Rapunzel character in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods. But where Sondheim played up the mother/daughter aspects of the relationship, Hale n’ Hale are not particularly interested in that take on the story. Here Mother Gothel, as she is known, is a pretty unrepentantly evil character. She bears little affection for the girl she has raised, which I think is a bit of a loss. It would have been nice to see a more complex villain. Someone who can care and love a little girl on the one hand as a mother, and then turn around and crush the spirit of a nation on the other.

That said, the Hales have a good sense of character and personality here. Rapunzel’s spirit is pretty evident, both visually and through her verve and words right from the get go. Heck, the first time you see her she’s hanging off a branch in the garden and falling into a small pond. The Hales avoid the usual tomboy-told-to-act-like-a-pretty-princess storyline that’s been so done and overdone before. Here Rapunzel is brave and curious right from the start, but with a way of communicating that is entirely her own. After all, when she first sees the devastation that surrounds her home of the past nine years her response is “Well I’ll be swigger-jiggered and hung out to dry.”

The cowboy feel and characters in this book are a bit odd, but they work within the context of the tale. It’s certainly a more American take on the Rapunzel story than you’ll usually find in a library. All spurs and lassos and riding bucks. Short of Indian attacks (of which there are blessedly none) all the usual tropes are there.

Nathan Hale was an interesting choice of illustrator for this particular outing. It took me a while to get attuned to his more cartoonish style, I admit. I had seen the work he’d done on his picture books Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School, which employed a mighty realistic take on your average everyday six-year-old monsters. For this book, Hale scales back the complexity (at least until he needs to use it) producing a simpler product. Once you get into it, it kinda works. I liked Hale’s ability to render the multiple uses of extremely long hair during the Rapunzel-grows-up montages. I liked that he was as comfortable presenting a grey desolate wasteland as we was a beautiful ball gown. If I'm not too much mistaken there seemed to be a visual Pippi Longstocking reference going on for much of the book (hey man, I always said she was the original female superhero). And I liked that he ends the book (spoiler alert, for those of you who care) with a very sexy kiss. Very sexy. Or maybe I just like boys in white shirtsleeves.

It’s a hard novel to place, in a way. There really aren’t that many younger reader graphic novels outside of the manga sphere to compare this to. I can’t help but think that it’s going to have to be a hit, though. A Newbery Honor winning author taking familiar fairy tale tropes and then wrapping the whole kerschmozzle in a kick-butt girl package? It’s going to have its fans. My only difficulty as a librarian is in figuring out what to recommend to my patrons when they finish the book and want more of the same. Suggestions on that topic are more than welcome. A fun new book worth taking a gander at.

Ages 10 and up.
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
966 reviews496 followers
March 22, 2018
I enjoyed this. I liked that Rapunzel actually took care of shit and didn't cut and whine about her past. She saved people, it became a western and she actually had common sense.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,610 followers
September 16, 2008
A fresh, funny take on the Rapunzel fairy tale. Set in the Old West, Rapunzel's braids prove to be useful as more than just a ladder as she lassos her way to freedom along with her cohort, Jack.

Shannon and Dean's clever dialogue and hilarious narration are just that: clever and hilarious. In fact, I think they should collaborate on more projects, but as with any graphic novel, I'm into it for the pictures, and Nathan Hale does not disappoint. (I'm also a huge fan of his picture books, so I wasn't surprised.) The pictures are what really makes this book. Vivid, detailed, I was getting hand cramps just thinking about what it would be like to draw all those intricate little squares!
Profile Image for Becky.
5,091 reviews97 followers
August 18, 2008
Hale, Shannon and Dean. 2008. Rapunzel's Revenge. Illustrated by Nathan Hale.

Rapunzel's Revenge is a graphic novel. A great graphic novel of an empowered and spunky Rapunzel who's on a quest for revenge. Really there are no words for how much fun this one is. It does begin in a familiar way, "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl..." and it is loosely based on the fairy tale...but most of the story is original and fun and wonderful. The book really begins to take off when Rapunzel rescues herself from the tower. One of the first things she does is meet her "adventuring hero" who would have rescued her...not. Here's how that exchange goes:

Rapunzel: Ow! What in the--
Would-be-hero: Are you all right?
Rapunzel: Oh...am I...am I all right? Well I was until someone shot my new pet pig. I was going to call him Roger.
Would-be-hero: You're welcome! All in a day's work. I'm an adventuring hero.
Rapunzel: Well, It's nice to meet you. It's nice to meet anyone, really. Can you give me directions to--
Would-be-hero: I was getting so bored watching the workers farm my fields all day. So I left behind the civilized comforts of Husker City, following tales of a beautiful maiden trapped in a high tower.
Rapunzel: Oh! That's so noble of you to come all this way to help her.
Would-be-hero: Yes, noble is a good word for me. I can't actually rescue her, of course. The word is she's Mother Gothel's pet and I won't risk crossing the old lady. But I can tell her I'm going to rescue her. She's bound to be too naive to know the difference, and it'll be such fun in the meantime!
Rapunzel: Oh.
Would be hero: So, tiny ragamuffin, as payment for saving you from that rampaging beast, you may point the way to her mystical tower.
Rapunzel: Uh, yeah, the tower is a huge tree just back that way, but...but she's slightly deaf. If you keep calling out, she'll hear you. Eventually.
Would-be-hero: Excellent! And I'm off.
Rapunzel: Remember to yell as loud as you can!
Narrator: This is where the "once upon a time" part ends, with yours truly finally free from that perpendicular prison.

But Rapunzel's story is far from over. And her adventures have just begun. I loved the story. I loved the style. I loved the illustrations.

I loved this one!!!
Profile Image for Ronyell.
955 reviews319 followers
August 10, 2012
“Rapunzel’s Revenge” is an awesome retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm tale “Rapunzel” by Shannon and Dean Hale along with illustrations by Nathan Hale (no relation). “Rapunzel’s Revenge” is a brilliant tale of adventure and romance that both children and adults will enjoy for centuries!

Shannon and Dean Hale has done a great job with writing their first graphic novel together and they make the story both exciting and dramatic at the same time. Shannon and Dean Hale had brilliantly retold the story in a western spoof of the classic Brothers Grimm tale as Rapunzel seems to be more of a western heroine than the typical damsel in distress than she was in the original Brothers Grimm story. Nathan Hale’s illustrations are realistic and rough looking as Rapunzel and Jack look like they have rough looking faces but are still attractive to look at. Nathan Hale’s illustrations of the buildings in the town are brilliantly creative as they look like something that comes out western shows like “The Rifleman” as they look a bit old fashioned but beautiful at the same time.

“Rapunzel’s Revenge” is one of the greatest fairy tale retellings of all time as it is full of action and adventure that both adults and children will enjoy immensely. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since smaller children might not understand about the fairy tale parody theme of this story.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
Profile Image for Laura Florand.
Author 28 books899 followers
January 28, 2016
Loved this. My daughter had read it first and kept saying I should read it, too, so finally she got me to read it to her for her bedtime story. Very well done, great art, great characters, good touches of humor, and Rapunzel is a strong heroine.
Profile Image for Natalie.
2,784 reviews132 followers
April 11, 2022
A student donated this book to my class library many years ago and I've met to read it the whole time, but just now got to it. :)

I don't know why I put it off so long because it was great! I don't read a ton of fairytales anymore (I used to read every YA book ever about fairytales) but this was a fun return. The story was a creative and I loved our hero and heroine.

Rapunzel is locked into a fast-growing tree which makes everything, including her hair grow fast. She has to get out quick and save her mom from the evil Mother Gothel. She meets Jack and they make their way through the land helping people and escaping the bad guys.

I really liked this and I definitely want to read the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Artemis Crescent.
866 reviews
January 27, 2023
Have you ever seen a film - or read a book - and thought, "This has everything"? In hindsight it is an absurd and childish phrase. Because no story that has ever been told has "everything" in it, for nothing is so varied and good that it could please everyone. Even the word "epic" means different things to different people. But after finishing 'Rapunzel's Revenge' - created by the wife-and-husband team Shannon and Dean Hale - I found myself thinking exactly that, while also dealing with a tidal wave of emotions.

'Rapunzel's Revenge' has it all - action, adventure, drama, comedy, romance, a strong female lead, magic, animals, a diverse cast of characters (including strong little people), a mother-and-daughter/son theme, redemption, slavery, starvation, kidnapping storylines, prison breakout storylines, and of course, a revenge plot. Tell me if I'm missing something, because it could be that this comic book has a little something for everyone. Even though it looks to be a Western with a fairy tale twist, it could easily earn a place in any number of genres.

Before I get into the characters and their roles in this fairy tale retelling, I'll talk about the Rapunzel tale itself and its impact on popular culture.

It seems that it is only recently in the 21st century that Rapunzel has begun to shine as brightly and continuously as her long locks. In Kate Forsyth's brilliant 2012 novel, 'Bitter Greens', we are taken back to the fairy tale's origin in Italy in the 17th century; in a story called 'Petrosinella' by Giambattista Basile. This is later retold by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force in France. Hence was spawned other retellings.

In most versions of 'Rapunzel', a witch kidnaps the poor peasant girl as a punishment to her father who, three years previously, took rapunzel leaves from the witch's garden to feed the girl's mother, who was pregnant and craving greens at the time. The witch locks Rapunzel in a tower and lets her hair grow to about twenty feet or more. A prince or male traveller will come to the tower when Rapunzel is in her teens, and whether he dies or is saved by Rapunzel's tears once she's free depends on the retelling. In Disney's popular 2010 film, 'Tangled', Rapunzel is a princess who is kidnapped from her parents as a newborn, because her hair contains magical properties from a flower which Mother Gothel had used to stay young (or attractive middle-aged at least). Inside a hidden tower, Mother Gothel lets Rapunzel's hair grow in order to use its magic to keep herself immortal, for if the hair is cut the magic will be lost forever. Rapunzel's love interest, who climbs her tower prison/home on his own, without her hair, is a redeemed thief.

So interest in this particular fairy tale has perked up over the years. I myself have caught the bug, especially since it seems that many good stories and adaptations have come out of it. And as a result it's become one of my favourite fairy tales. Thus, when a certain comic book based on the tale came up on my reading radar (plus hearing its good reviews), I knew I had to get my hands on it. I never liked the Western genre (I find its entries to be very samey and dry and overtly hyper-masculine), but I was nevertheless willing to give 'Rapunzel's Revenge' a try, and I kept my expectations fairly low.

I regret nothing.

(Except stupidly getting orange juice all over my copy of 'Bitter Greens', but in hindsight that's got nothing to do with this review.)

'Rapunzel's Revenge' is one of the best graphic novels - one of the best reading titles, period - I have ever read. I know my range in reading comic books isn't very wide, but it's the truth. The fact that I'm not even a fan of Westerns but still think highly of this comic says an awful lot. I should give more titles a chance.

The protagonist herself is, obviously, Rapunzel. I love her to bits. She's sheltered, kind, shy, anxious, but also curious, adventurous, brave, bold, daring, thoughtful, selfless, funny, and very adaptable - she's all the things that make human beings so complex and awe-inspired. Aside from her red hair she isn't conventionally attractive and is never sexualised (although that might be because she's supposed to be only sixteen).

Rapunzel in this retelling starts out as a rich girl living in a lush, fertile castle with Mother Gothel. But when she turns twelve, she climbs the wall surrounding her home and finds out that Gothel has slaves working in mines. One of the slaves is her real mother. Rapunzel discovers the truth behind Gothel's business - the witch uses her growth magic to suck the lands dry of vegetation, and the inhabitants are at her mercy. The young girl, when she refuses to go back home after seeing all this, is sent to live in a tall tree prison in a forest as a punishment by Gothel. Growth magic provides Rapunzel with food and also makes her hair grow at a fast rate (probably unintentional on Gothel's part... or is it?). Four years later, the heroine is finally able to escape by using her hair to swing to another tree, and then climb (well, fall actually) back down to earth. Her journey begins and she's on a mission to stop Mother Gothel's tyranny and rescue her birth mother.

So in this version, not only does Rapunzel not need a man to climb her tower and be used as a plot device to help free her, but she has a set goal in mind once she is free. And that goal is to grant the same freedom for her real, living mother, and bring justice to the witch's evil reign over a country. Rapunzel is not just a cowgirl, she is an all-around action girl with hair plaits for lassos (developed through doing activities in her tree prison out of boredom and loneliness) . She does pretty much everything by herself.

Except she also gains a travelling companion.

Jack is a crossdressing thief looking for money to fix his mother's house. He has magic beans. And a goose he claims can lay golden eggs (this hasn't been proven yet). I was wary of this guy at first, because it seemed like he was just another bumbling male sidekick character, who exists sorely to make the action-oriented female lead look competent by comparison. Feminism is supposed to help both genders display equal amounts of strengths and weaknesses, after all. But he is hilarious, and has excellent dialogue exchanges with Rapunzel. Jack is her opposite in every way, including them coming from different backgrounds. He has wonderful character development, and he and Rapunzel are sweet together, so I don't mind that their relationship ends up being romantic.

I knew the romance was coming, but not necessarily because they're opposite-gendered partners and so must be a couple. No, it is because they are genuinely good together and change each other for the better. Rapunzel learns about trust and that there are good people in the world through Jack, and vice versa.

There's just one thing that is worth putting into question: How old is Jack anyway? He looks considerably older than Rapunzel's sixteen years.

Jack's goose Goldy doesn't do much, and Mother Gothel as a villain is pretty one-note, due to her not appearing in the comic much. However, she is very intimidating when she does appear on-panel, and we are told her backstory in the middle of the story. She does more with her growth magic than just make plants grow and die; she can make other things - even people - grow too... Even Gothel's soldiers and henchmen are given distinctive personalities and likeable traits.

I've already mentioned that 'Rapunzel's Revenge' is very diverse in its cast, and their dialogue - as well as the artwork - clearly shows they are in a wild west setting. However, it seems that Rapunzel, the main character, is the only Caucasian-looking person in the graphic novel. I guess what would make 'Rapunzel's Revenge' any better is if Rapunzel had the same ethnicity as any of the other characters (does a retelling featuring a Black Rapunzel exist anywhere? If not, I might write it in one of my own stories, because wouldn't it be awesome?). But oh well, her personality more than makes up for this (and who doesn't love red hair, seriously?).

All in all, I freaking love 'Rapunzel's Revenge'. Fun, touching, sad, thrilling, witty, and should be used as a teaching guideline on how to write what is called a "strong female character" (hint: in a way you would write any hero who is also a human being). Spread the word! Have it more well known!

The artwork by Nathan Hale (no relation to the authors) also fits very well with the setting. It is just cartoony enough that - like the mishmash of genres - it makes the book appealing to a variety of audiences.

A beautiful, five-star masterpiece, and I look forward to lassoing the sequel, 'Calamity Jack'.

(Will Jack be as interesting a main character as Rapunzel, however?)

Final Score: 5/5
Profile Image for Nostalgia Reader.
790 reviews63 followers
March 18, 2021
4.5 stars.

Despite the , I loved this entire story. Rapunzel is badass and isn't afraid to whack tropes on their heads with her braids. Her linking "commentary" throughout created a very readable style, and the pacing of the adventures were very well done. Nothing ever seemed over done or completely useless to the quest. The artwork is very eye-catching and really compliments the writing (it reminds me of the webcomic Plume). Highly recommended!

(Cross posted on my blog.)
Profile Image for Skip.
3,249 reviews393 followers
October 29, 2016
Shannon Hale has taken a classic fairy tale, added in a dash of Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and set it in the wild, wild west, and told in a graphic novel format. When privileged Rapunzel discovers her "mother" took her from her birth mother and is destroying the surrounding lands, her objections land her in the famous tower. Rather than waiting for rescue by a prince, this Rapunzel uses her own gifts to escape and seeks reunion and retribution. Along the way, she becomes a bit of an outlaw/rogue. The pacing of the book was too slow, both at the beginning and end. Some decent humor, especially between Punzie and Jack. No sure that I will read the sequel so maybe closer to 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Coralie.
527 reviews84 followers
December 27, 2017
My first ever graphic novel. It was a short read, quick, but funny. The illustrations were absolutely beautiful and the story was well-written, as I'd expect of Shannon Hale. I can't say I'm now totally sold on graphic novels, but it was an interesting experience. The story nodded to the original in a few ways that made me smile, but also twisted in with a whole new western spin on things. The story moved very quickly, but I don't think that detracted from it. Cool new setting, fun characters, entertaining story. A good short read.
Profile Image for Praxedes.
410 reviews11 followers
February 24, 2016
This graphic novel is on the Middle School Battle of the Books list. The use of artwork to create a story is skilfully woven into the plot. In fact, there are entire sequences told via the graphics which require no words. That is what a graphic novel should be...the synthesis of two different genres to create a third. The story is a modern-day version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but with clever twists and sub-plots. Very enjoyable.
Profile Image for Robyn.
1,699 reviews118 followers
October 20, 2020
Rapunzel is quite the gal! All that flowing red hair that you can lasso the bad guys with. Why, who needs a gun when you have all that? Not Punzie, that is for sure!

I wasn't aware that Rapunzel was stuck in a giant tree because she found out that Mother Gothel wasn't really her mom and that she, Rapunzel had been stolen from her real mother! OH NO!!!! Well, of course, this is a fairy tale after all. But Punzie meets up with Jack (from the beanstalk) and she sets about freeing the world from Mother Gothel's reign of terror.

A beautifully illustrated graphic novel by my favorite, Shannon Hale, author of the friend series.

4 stars

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,232 followers
March 22, 2016
When I first started this, I have to say I was pretty iffy.  There's a bit to get through to get to the 'current' story, and I don't know that I've ever read info-dumping in graphic novel form.  It was...odd.  It made me feel really disconnected, and I wasn't sure I was going to like this.  But once Rapunzel is banished to her high, um, tower of sorts, it started to pick up, and it took off when Jack entered the story -- it was enjoyable from that point on.

There was great humor in unexpected moments, silly little things popping up like easter eggs, both in the text (and the sort of 'background' text, if that makes sense.  If you don't read graphic novels, I'm talking about the bits of text that pop up, not in a speech bubble or a box of text, but as quiet little background moments, going on behind whatever the text-box/bubble says.) and in the illustrations that accompanied the text.  I got the feeling that Shannon and Dean Hale (married) and Nathan Hale (no relation) worked well to layer things and inject cute little quirks.  It made for an enjoyable reading experience.

Rapunzel was interesting and fun (even if her braid lassos look like sausages), and she and Jack played nicely off of each other.  Jack is absolutely ridiculous and shameless, and I loved him.  He was a great foil for Rapunzel, and together with the Old West feel of the book, it all worked nicely.  The one thing that I wished different was Mother Gothel.  Rapunzel is such a fascinating story because it's hard to decide who the villain is.  Rapunzel's parents trade her away for some stolen lettuce, so it's hard to buy them as the suffering heroes, but what exactly does the old lady/owner of the lettuce want with a baby, anyhow?  And why does she keep her in a tower?  There are questions in Rapunzel that interest me, and it's fun seeing how authors will answer them.

I didn't completely love how Hale answered them.  Sure, some of the answers were really interesting, and certainly unique.  But Mother Gothel had great potential to be a sympathetic character to me - albeit a much-flawed one - but that potential was ignored in favor of making her seem completely black-hearted, even when there was clearly much more to the story.  It took away all of the fine little nuances and made me feel like this great opportunity was passed by; the story could have been dynamic and colorful where Gothel was concerned, and instead it was flat, black and white.  I wanted to explore her character, her motivations, and what I can only guess was her vast loneliness, and maybe paranoia.

But that being said, I still enjoyed this and will read Calamity Jack, and would recommend it to fans of graphic novels and fairy tales, and those looking for something a little different.  I think this one will be a great choice for boys and reluctant readers, too.  And moms, apparently, because mine was flipping through this, and having never read a graphic novel before, she was immediately interested, and I had to keep her from taking it until after I'd written my review and gotten pictures of the frames I wanted to share, which never happened anyway, cause GUESS WHOSE SCANNER IS BROKEN...
Profile Image for Eva Mitnick.
769 reviews27 followers
January 2, 2009
Rapunzel doesn’t know there’s anything wrong with her life – a gorgeous villa, plenty of food, servants and guards, a powerful mother named Mother Gothel – until she manages to finally scale the high wall that surrounds her opulent home. Beyond it lies an industrial wasteland, starving workers policed by vicious guards, and… Rapunzel’s real mother, a worker dressed in rags whose baby was taken from her by Mother Gothel. Rapunzel furiously confronts Mother Gothel, who has her taken away and imprisoned at the top of the world’s highest tree. After five long years, Mother Gothel’s “growth magic” (the source of her power, as she can not only make things grow but keep them from growing) causes Rapunzel’s hair to grow to extraordinary lengths, allowing her to finally escape her prison.

Rapunzel takes up with a young lad named Jack (who travels with a goose who simply won’t lay an egg, a magic bean, and a number of other surprises) and they have an assortment of excellent adventures, greatly aided by Rapunzel’s hair, which she can use as a lasso or whip to great effect. All’s well that ends well – the intrepid duo rescues Rapunzel’s mom, vanquish Mother Gothel, and fall in love.

This works well as a graphic novel – the derring-do translates well to action-packed panels, as do the goofy visual gags. The setting is a fairy tale Wild West, and the sight of Rapunzel riding a horse with her copious braids coiled at her saddle like an orange lasso is priceless. The illustrations portray the humor of the story wonderfully, showing particular imagination in how folks are clothed.

Humor, both dry and broadly slapstick, bounces along on every page. There is plenty of silly banter between Rapunzel and Jack, and it only gets mushy at the absolute very end. Raging boars, snaggle-toothed and bearded bad guys, a ravening antler-wearing rabbit, and that ever-present goose provide non-stop goofy excitement, and Rapunzel’s hair is so much a part of the story that its eventual fate feels almost tragic.

Anyone who loves fractured fairy tales will dive right into this luscious tale, only wishing it were longer. Readers who enjoyed the graphic novel versions of Coraline and Artemis Fowl should also give this a whirl – boys as well as girls will like it, if they just get past the first few pages.

For readers ages 10 and up.
Profile Image for Nancy O'Toole.
Author 16 books52 followers
August 14, 2010
As a child, I loved fairy tales, but as I’ve grown older I’ve started to see their flaws. One of the things that have struck me the most is their portrayal of women. You can be Rapunzel, the beautiful, goodhearted maiden that must be rescued by the handsome prince, or the evil, ugly witch that locks her in the tower. With all of the modernizations of fairy tales released in the past several years, these stereotypes are often turned on their heads. Rapunzel’s Revenge is a great example of this. It, much like the traditional story of Rapunzel, tells the story of a young girl who is locked in a tower by an evil witch. Only this Rapunzel isn’t waiting for any handsome prince. She watches as her hair grows at an unnatural speed. When it becomes long enough, she lassos a nearby tree and swings herself down. Once she hits the ground, her story doesn’t stop there. She’s out to take revenge on the woman who locked her up in the first place, and rescue her enslaved mother. On her way, Rapunzel makes friends with Jack, a good humored young man who carries around a goose and a magic bean, and experiences many exciting adventures.

Rapunzel’s Revenge is a graphic novel that takes place in a fantasy world inspired by the Wild West, some of the panels even mimicking shots you might find in a western. Although the story is not quite as enchanting as Shannon Hale’s young adult fair, there’s plenty of fun to be found here. Rapunzel is a sassy heroine that happens to be a little naive of the ways of the world. Jack, with his-Xander-like personality and amusing companion (the goose), is the perfect sidekick. I enjoyed the romantic storyline that played out between the two of them. The artwork was a little uneven. At times, the bright colors and uniquely drawn characters really drew me in, but there were a few time where I felt as if it didn’t portray the characters emotions to the fullest. The action sequences are plenty of fun, although there are a couple times when the reader will have to suspend disbelief.

I would recommend this graphic novel to young readers, but also to people who enjoy children’s literature. I plowed this quick read in a few hours, and found it to be cute and fun.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,379 reviews34 followers
February 3, 2017
This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2017/02/0...

Continuing with my fairy tale theme, this week we meet Rapunzel- who is a spunky red headed cowgirl who can lasso her hair like no one’s business!

We first meet Rapunzel as a pre-teen who lives in a lush villa with her mother and servants. She is adequately cared for but not coddled by her stern mother, but is plagued by a dream of being loved by another couple. As she starts to question why the walls are so high around her home, she uses the lassoing skills to climb up and explore what is beyond the boundaries of her home. Discovering a wasteland, she sneaks out and by chance meets her enslaved biological mother who explains how she came to live with the magical Mother Gothel. After confronting Gothel, Rapunzel is banished to another part of the kingdom and imprisoned in a tall tree.

Rapunzel is left to her own devices for several years, and while the mystical forest provides her with food, the spell also seems to affect the growth of her hair. Mother Gothel only visits her once a year to see if she repents, and in the mean time Rapunzel hones her skills of utilizing her long hair as a weapon. She escapes without any one’s assistance, and ends up meeting Jack, a young con man on the run. Their wild-west escapades together were fun and relatable, for not everything goes their way, despite them doing their best to help others they encounter. Rapunzel and Jack (of beanstalk fame) join in a traveling vaudeville show to camouflage their way back into the villa, and there they create chaos and challenge Mother Gothel and her evil ways.

The illustrations are fun and vibrant, and give Rapunzel a Pippi Longstocking vibe- which I love. The characters in the story are a diverse group, which was appreciated, and drawn well. This appealing fairy tale hews closely to the classic story, but adds enough extras to make it fun and different. Definitely recommended to younger readers!
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books479 followers
November 11, 2012
Reviewed by Rebecca Wells for TeensReadToo.com

Once upon a time, in a land very far away, there lived a girl with her mother. Every day as the girl grew and played, she also became more and more curious about the world outside. One day she finally climbed up her wall and discovered that she really knew nothing at all.

And that was when she decided to do something about it.

Think you know Rapunzel? You've never heard it like this!

With a feisty heroine who uses her ridiculously long hair as a weapon and a sidekick who travels with a goose that just might lay a golden egg, RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE takes the traditional tale of Rapunzel and turns it on its head.

Shannon and Dean Hale create a thoroughly entertaining world in which Rapunzel takes claims her life as her own. Follow along as she embarks on a swashbuckling quest to save the world from the evil witch who has held her captive in a move that sets the bar for adventurous heroines everywhere.

Be forewarned: RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE is not for everyone. It is a graphic novel, and while the illustrations are gorgeous and highly amusing, some readers may not be drawn in by the format. However, for those who love graphic novels, fairy tales, and awesome heroines, this story may be just the thing.

Happy reading.

Profile Image for Cara.
280 reviews699 followers
April 21, 2009
When I first saw this title I hadn't realized that it was a graphic novel. As a rule I tend to avoid them since (at least to me) they don't seem like real books, but since I love Shannon Hale,s work I decided to give it a chance.
I enjoyed it a lot more than what I expected. It is a very unique and cool retelling of Rapunzel's story. It was more like she was a comic book hero (which wasn't bad), I guess what I'm trying to say is that I thought it was pretty cool that she had killer braids. We are used to seeing Rapunzel as the dasmel in distress but here she takes matter into her own hands.
I also liked how another fairy tale is weaved into this one. There is no wonder why Nathan Hale took a whole year to finish the illustrations, some of them are pretty impressive. He did a great job of making her look like she can kick butt but keep her feminine wiles (some little vocab from the story).
I do think it would have been interesting to see this story in the traditional novel format, but I understand why she went with doing it as a graphic novel. In this format it is more accessible to younger children, which I suspect would enjoy the story very much.
Anyways I thought it was done well, enough for me to give graphic novels more of a chance.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
319 reviews41 followers
August 30, 2008
When Repunzel discovers the woman she has always called mother stole her away from her family as a child and is sucking the life out of the land, she knows that she must use all of her meager skills to return the land to its fertile origins. With the help of her new friend Jack and his crazy goose Goldy, Punzie finds an inner strength and a community ready to come together to take down the most evil witch of all.

This a cute story that mixes the Brothers Grimm with Mother Goose and throws in a twist of the Wild West. There is some really clever dialogue between Jack and Repuzel, but the plot falls just short of wonderful. The beginning is a little slow and the resolution stretches just a little too far to be satisfying. But if you like graphic novels and you love Shannon Hale's great sense of humor, you'll enjoy this read. As for Nathan Hale's illustrations, they are nice without being overly remarkable.

Another clever retelling of a fairy Tale that is sure delight young readers and keep reluctant readers going on the literary trail.
Profile Image for Lori.
21 reviews
June 5, 2011
I'll be honest -- this is the first graphic novel I have ever read. I was drawn to it because of the attractive artwork - the illustrator did a great job and the colors literally jump off the page.

I was torn between giving it a 3 star rating or a 4 star rating. It was easy to read and interesting. Having just watched "Tangled" a few weeks ago, I found this interpretation of Rapunzel's story interesting. The authors took the basic elements of Rapunzel's story and added some more fantasy elements to it -- girls would love this book. I also liked the fact that Rapunzel wasn't a helpless female in this version -- she rescues herself and several other people in the story...which is a nice change from the typical fairy tale where the girl gets rescued by a handsome prince and then swoons into his arms. Rapunzel does end up "with someone" at the end of the story, but she's with him because she likes him, not because he's her night in shining armor.

I recommend this book and if you have a daughter that is between the ages of 12 - 14, I think she would like this book too.
Profile Image for Marissa.
337 reviews
October 26, 2008
My first graphic novel read!
And, sorry graphic novels, I enjoy written word better.
This is obviously, Rapunzel. The little pictures capture and tell the story so well but I would have loved intense descriptions and reading more.
On the other hand, my daughter Julia, loves it. She keeps sneaking it into her bed at night to read when she thinks I am not looking. I think it's giving her a bridge from a typical picture book with not so much plot shown in images that she can follow some of the passages in a very visual way to see the evolution of the story.
And, I am a Shannon Hale fan.
Out of the blue, Nathan Hale, the illustrator is from Orem, Utah and went to my high school (graduating a year before me). I thought it might have been him but was sure when I saw that he dedicated the book to his sisters, one of whom, Leigh, was in my graduating class.
Profile Image for Astrid.
4 reviews
March 11, 2017
I think that Rapunzel's Revenge is an awesome book! I really like the way that Rapunzel uses her hair. I especially hate Mother Gothel. She killed pretty much everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is an evil and demented soul. My favorite character is Rapunzel's mother. I feel really bad for her. she had a baby, then she got put in the mines and then she got put in prison! No one should live a life like that!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,289 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.