When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They'll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.
Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what happily ever after really means -- and how they can find it with each other.
Kay O'Neill is an illustrator and graphic novelist from New Zealand. They are the author of Princess Princess Ever After, The Tea Dragon Society, Aquicorn Cove, and more. They mostly make gentle fantasy stories for younger readers, and are very interested in tea, creatures, things that grow, and the magic of everyday life.
On an Instagram post 17th December 2020 the author shared that they use they/them pronouns and prefers to be called Kay.
I really love the works of Kay O’Neil—especially the darling trilogy of The Tea Dragon Society—for their whimsy, their push for inclusivity, and for the lush and relatively cottagecore artwork. Award winning Princess Princess Ever After is one of their early works but already displays a strong sense of style and humor in a story about a Princess rescue that subverts gender expectations in this adorable queer graphic novel. The story is aimed towards the YA crowd (the characters dialogue does ring a bit too young even for the teenage characters) but it is easily enjoyable for anyone and has a lot of great messages of being yourself and not conforming to social expectations about you.
Released in 2014, the book does feel slightly less fresh now that gender-bending fairy tales have had a popular showing in publishing the past few years but it is still quite charming. O’Neil puts a lot of twists into the story, starting strong by revealing that the prince coming to rescue the princess trapped in a tower is actually a princess herself. Another pleasant aspect was that there is also a discussion on how ideas of masculinity can be damaging to boys as well, with the novel taking broad generalizations about how socially enforced gender roles and binaries are often a hindrance to self-actualization.There is also a lot of discussions about expectations of parents feeling like a burden that is quite nicely addressed.The presentation of these ideas is cute even if a bit rushed and over-simplified, and I quite enjoyed the narrative even if it is a bit slight.
This is an adorable queer graphic novel that you can quickly devour full of lovely empowering messages about being yourself, the power in seeing things from a different perspective, and not letting expectations weigh you down. It is quite an inclusive book, with LGBTQ+ themes and diversity in race and body type (Sadie is criticized for being overweight so many times its a bit…much, but also isn’t drawn to look it really?) that has been a welcomed aspect of Kay O’Neil’s work overall. A bit rushed but charming and humorous, I love anything that Kay O’Neil does.
This short webcomic (you can read it here) is about a princess, Sadie, who is locked in a tower and is rescued by another princess, Amira, riding a pink unicorn, and it's just as queer as it sounds.
Amira is not here for heteronormativity and she's learning what it means to be a hero. The adventures she has with Sadie and then later with both Sadie and prince Vladric show her that she still has a few things to learn.
Sadie is not here for fat-shaming, and seeing her freed from her abusive sister is the most rewarding feeling.
Prince Vladric is not here for what society expects of princes -being brave is not for him and that's okay.
This is a story with a lot of subtext that many adult people will recognize, from a psychologically abusive relationship with a relative and the power of letting go of it, to a portrayal of what society expects men to be like, but it's most importantly a middle-grade queer comic that deals with very important topics and it does it in such a lighthearted way that every kid (and every adult) will love it.
"I'll protect you, Sadie! I have a sword, a unicorn, and kick-butt hair!" pg. 13
I see what O'Neill is trying to do here, but this book had some problems.
This is children's literature that features lesbians. I've been seeing more of this lately, which I think is good. Mainly this tiny genre consists of stuff like, "What if a princess fell in love with another princess instead of a prince?"
This graphic novel is a bit like Sailor Moon and a lot like Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Sadie is locked in a tower and along comes yet another prince to save her. Only she's not a prince, she's Princess Amira, dressed in soft buckskin leggings and epaulettes. She is riding a unicorn. She saves Sadie, and they pick up a prince-in-distress (Vladric - although he is called "Butthead" for the whole rest of the story, much to my dismay.) The three go on to fight an ogre and eventually square off against Sadie's abusive older sister, Princess Claire.
Let's analyze this, because, let me tell you, I have a bunch of problems with it.
O'Neill's world-building is for crap. I have so many unanswered questions. I also have problems with the characters.
This is just a very liberal fantasy that just showcases liberal ideas. That's fine, but there is no substance to back it up. It's very simplistic. People can cheer about a lesbian romance, they can cheer about a woman rescuing a man, they can cheer about a princess running away from expectations, they can cheer about a prince running away from expectations. They can embrace the idea that a 'villain' is simply misunderstood and hurting people 'by accident.'
However, this liberal utopia is shallow and doesn't have a strong backbone.
Standard disclaimer: I am a liberal.
For one thing, maybe the biggest thing for me, is that Sadie just accepts her evil sister's negative thoughts about her. Her sister calls her stupid, weak, fat, and a crybaby. Rather than fight these ideas, the book seems to say that Sadie should accept that this is what she is an then embrace it. I'm not sure where O'Neill is getting this idea. o.O Instead of telling Claire to fuck off, or, alternatively, telling Claire her strengths... Sadie just admits she is a fat, stupid crybaby but "That may be true... But I'll never let you make me feel like it's a bad thing ever again!!” she says while sobbing profusely. I'm just kind of stumped. I don't think accepting your abuser's malevolent image of yourself is healthy or empowering. I was hoping the book would either a.) Tell Claire to go fuck herself or b.) have Sadie make a statement about her strengths to counter Claire's assessment of her. Something about how brave she was (she approached a rampaging ogre without fear), how kind and beloved she is, or stuff along these lines. Why on earth would she accept and embrace her abuser's views of her and validate them? It was horrible.
Secondly, Sadie is supposed to be fat, but I have to say she is not drawn very fat. I only know she's supposed to be fat because the book keeps telling me this.
Thirdly, we have Princess Amira. O'Neill tells us that when she turns 16, her mother starts making her meet with “dull princes” in order to meet her future husband. When Amira balks, her mother tells her that her duty is to marry and unite two royal families. The very next panel shows Amira riding away from her castle on her unicorn. Is her family looking for her? How did she run away? Does she miss them? I have no idea. None of this is covered. Could she have married another princess and united two families? Did her family even know she was a lesbian?
Same with Sadie. My fourth problem is with Sadie. Her father dies and leaves his kingdom to BOTH daughters. Sadie's abuser convinces her that she should run the kingdom alone... which Sadie agrees to... and Claire locks Sadie in the tower. Why is Sadie's older sister so evil? Was she born this way? Was she always this way? How come she hates her sister so much? It looks like they were pretty young when the king died. Is Claire a sociopath? Sadie straight out admits that she sabotages princes who try to save her. Her victim mentality is deep deep deep. She is deep in the pattern of abuse. She completely believes what Claire says about her and blindly agrees with it. She sabotages people who would save her from her abuser. NO comments on how this is solved. Sure, the evil sister But it is obviously going to take much more than that to jolt Sadie into realizing she has self-worth. Even when *Carmen makes a face* And one of those advisers is Vladric.
Which brings me to WHY? Why on Earth would Vladric end up as Sadie's adviser? Surely he can't because he belongs to the royal family of another kingdom, right? It's not a job that just anyone can apply for, is it? Because then anyone from any kingdom could be advising the Queen, right? I don't know, this book makes no sense. It doesn't even attempt to make sense.
TL;DR – While I appreciate lesbian children's literature, I feel like this is kind of slapped together. The art is pretty. Promoting acceptance of LGBT+ is great. Teaching children from a young age that it is possible for two women to be in a romantic relationship – great. However, the book has problems. The abuse is not handled well. The world-building is non-existent. The characters are not fleshed-out.
A children's lesbian fiction that I enjoyed more than this one and thought was better was The Answer, which is sweeter lesbian children's fiction and more focused on the challenges faced by people who buck society's norms.
I feel like this book WANTED to say it was covering what it was like to buck society's norms, but it didn't. Instead, it instantly leapt from, say, Amira finding out she was expected to marry a prince in a political match to running away on her unicorn. Did she challenge her parents? Did she rebel? Did she tell them she was a lesbian? Did she fight with them? Did they bring the hammer down? We have no idea. She runs away. Is anyone looking for her? Do her parents miss her? Do they regret trying to force her into a loveless political heterosexual marriage? I don't know.
And this doesn't go only for Amira's story, but the story of all three of our heroes. Just not enough information and plot is given.
I won't say “skip this book and read The Answer,” instead I would advise you to read both to children. I think The Answer is the superior book, but there is a dearth of children's lesbian fiction and I think the more exposure the better. Even if this one isn't up to snuff IMO.
Rated three stars only for the art. Otherwise two stars.
NAMES IN THIS BOOK Sadie f Claire f Vladric m Amira f Celeste - unicorn Taji m["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
This book was so sweet! Because it was middle grade the plot was somewhat overly simplistic and quick, but I still loved it and wish I'd read it as a kid because it would have inspired so much confidence in me as a young, fat girl. Love love loved all the representation, even though it was very abridged-feeling.
This teeny tiny book talks about a LOT of important stuff : * gender equality when Prince Vladric says how much pressure is put on his shoulders because he's a Prince and not a Princess, how people expect things from him ; * family expectations when Princess Amira explains she had to flee from her kingdom because her parents wanted her to marry a Prince for the sole purpose of connecting her family to another royal family ; * pressure from society to be perfect when Princess Sadie is being told by her sister that she is too ugly, fat, weak, stupid, etc, to be Queen. This book wants you to know that despite the person the world wants to turn you in, you have the right to be yourself. Your life, your rules.
An amazing new children's graphic novel especially suited for mighty girls. A princess of color rescues another princess. Love. It. Strong female protagonists and LGBTQA themes. This book is not to be missed.
I stumbled upon this by chance and finished the whole thing in a few minutes. It was too fluffy, fluffier than I can take!! Not my type of story unfortunately :( I think younger readers will enjoy it more.
an adorable little comic about two fairy tale princesses who break the mold together.
this experience was a bit like one of those pretty, sugar-spun sculptures. it’s extremely cutesy, looks pretty, and it makes you happy just looking at it -- but then you pop it in your mouth and (1) it’s over in a second and (2) it doesn’t actually have much of a taste.
the set-up of the story is as follows: princess sadie is locked in a tower by an evil sorceress, and princess amira is on the run from a marriage to ‘a stuffy prince’. she saves sadie from her predicament. along the way, they pick up prince vladric, talk down an ogre, and eventually confront the evil sorceress (and their own insecurities).
listen, i love myself a Going Against Restrictive Gender Roles fairy-tale setting, okay? check my shelves if you don’t believe me.
but where this was gorgeously pretty in terms of art style, it was a bit messy in its story and the messages it eventually portrays. and that, honestly, was a pity. i think it’s just a tad too short for all the concepts it’s trying to cover.
it’s still a sweet read, especially for younger (lgbtqia+) readers. there’s a lot in this comic that sets up a framework for social commentary and going against restrictive gender roles -- but unfortunately, the opportunities for exploring this are simply not taken.
first up: amira doesn��t want to be a princess because she wants to do things that aren’t meant for princesses. so she becomes a knight-like figure/captain instead. we never really know the depth of why she ran off (was her being a lesbian the problem, was it that she didn’t want to marry, was it that she wasn’t allowed to fight, or all of that and more?), so when the ending comes around and she still does what her mother intended for her, interpretation gets a bit weird.
then there’s sadie, who struggles with a past where her sister abused her emotionally by calling her weak, fat, stupid, and unfit to rule a kingdom. yet this is never properly unpacked (i.e., looking more closely into body shaming and fatphobia, and how to turn that around and learn to accept yourself).
vladric gets the short end of the stick, too. he’s a side character who’s meant to show the other side of the coin -- that princes grapple with the expectations placed upon their shoulders as well. like with amira, we never really learn why he’s not in touch with his family anymore, and what his actual struggle is.
(also, amira and sadie call him ‘butthead’ instead of his actual name for the duration of the entire comic. like, even in the epilogue. it just feels juvenile instead of cutesy-friendly because we never really see them become close friends who can pull off assholish nicknames with each other.)
anyway, before any of you will come out and call me a meanie for ripping into a cute kids comic with an adorable princess/princess romance -- i agree that the art is amazing. the intent is lovely. i think it is very sweet.
the gist of it is simply that i’ve seen other children’s media do these sorts of topics better, and i think i am allowed some expectations.
That was absolutely adorable. I love Katie O'Neill's stories and artwork so much, and this one is no exception. I love that she's creating these beautiful stories full of diverse characters (queer girls, QPOC characters, fat rep, and more) that readers of any age can fall in love with, and I have to say I especially loved Captain Amira and little Oliver. ♥
4.5 en realidad. Una historia muy cortita pero llena de valores y PRECIOSA. Sin duda hay una palabra que describe todas las historias de Katie: CUTE. Todas son adorables, supercuquis y cuyo dibujo fascina por completo. Y en este caso no ha sido menos. Princesa salva a princesa. Adiós príncipe. Princesas que se valen por sí mismas. Princesas viviendo una historia de amor entre ellas. De verdad, maravillosa. Siempre hay mucha representación LGTB+ en las historias de Katie, pero en esta ha sido la más evidente y me ha encantado el mensaje que lanza el libro. Lo recomiendo muchísimo, ojalá salga pronto en español.
As you might see...from the meme...I am not the biggest fan of Disney Prince The reason why I hated them was because most of them were creepy
Needless to say...I stayed away from Disney after that This is book that Disney should adapt instead We have my favourite pairing: Gryffindor x Hufflepuff The Brave hearted Princess Amira(beautiful name btw) comes to the rescue of the kind hearted Princess Sadie I won't say much...cause spoilers😊 But Do read this book The art style is stunning and the message of this book is heartwarming Also I see myself reading this Graphic Novel to my niece...I know she will Love this Definitely a PRINCESS STORY I will be willing to read to my niece
I don't know, I see the adorableness but I also feel like this comic is underdeveloped and rushed? It feels a bit like it's still the concept for a graphic novel rather than a fleshed out narrative and rounded characters. I did love the colour palette and the illustrations though, as well as the queer representation appropriate for kids as young as 6-7 and the fat girl and the black girl.
Sadie has been imprisoned in a high tower and she can't even use her hair to escape like Rapunzel. Moreover, every single prince who tried to rescue her failed miserably! Luckily, though, Amira is no prince...
This beautiful, heart-warming story is a tale of two princesses who fall in love, accepting each other's faults like no one else in their world was able to do before. Sadie, imprisoned in a tower not with bars, but by the very force of her fear and insecurities; Amira, born in a royal family where her only ambition is supposed to be being married to a prince and produce royal babies. While there is nothing bad with that intrinsically, Amira knows that it's just not her destiny: she doesn't want an easy life, she wants a chance to prove her value to herself and the world; and also, on the way, to find true love.
This is the third graphic novel I read from this author, and I am loving her work more and more as I become more familiar with it. I find it truly unique, both for the art style (I have a soft spot for her mythical creatures 💙) and for the wholesomeness of the characters and stories. In them, no one is left behind: no sexuality, body-type, ethnicity, disability etc is left unrepresented. And in such a sweet, natural way! Nothing is ever forced and the interactions are oh so positive and inspiring! I wish we could all live in a world so beautiful and uplifting like the one she portrays 💜
This little comic is really cute and refreshing. It's also quite funny because it makes fun of some of the classic fairytale stereotypes. It has a lesbian couple at its centre and it's just so good to see how the two main characters define the gender roles and the rules their society thinks they should abide by. I highly recommend it!
I can't believe I gave this 2 stars when I first read it! It's not just the cutest thing ever, but deals with serious topics, too. I feel like I'll give this more stars with every reread until it becomes an all-time favourite.
Pros: Gay! Like, legit gay! Also, awesome hair. Cons: Reads and looks like a discount Princeless. The art looked like it needed another round of polishing, and the storytelling was choppy, like transitional pages were cut to save space.
This was a rather sweet little story of two princesses that go ahead together and break the mould. Princess Sadie was locked in a tower, and Princess Amira was basically on the run from a marriage she felt she couldn't breathe in.
Princess Amira rescues Princess Sadie from her tower, which was refreshing, as it always has to be the dashing prince, right? Amira wants to do things that go against the norm for a Princess, such as fighting in battle, but I'm unsure if she ran away from her marriage because she realised she was a lesbian. The story isn't clear.
I like that this book covers many themes, but for me, I don't think that these are portrayed within the characters enough. Some of it was very 'cute', and things could have been developed more.
We have a Prince Vladric enter the story, and we learn about his struggles, and what his family expect from him, just because he is a male.
The fact that the Princesses referred to Vladric as 'Butthead' throughout most of the story was a little amateurish, and eventually started to grate on me.
Otherwise, apart from the couple of quibbles, this was a short and sweet little read, and was something just to escape the seriousness of life.
This one is so silly that I liked it. One princess is out there to save another princess held inside a high tower built. Clichè with a twist, eh? I like the lgbt representation. Totally loved the viewpoint of being a princess not waiting to be saved and actually making things happen by oneself. And yes, also the view that all princes are not that valiant and out there to save a princess in trouble. They are totally comfortable being themselves and have a life of their own.
I love the disney vibes while reading this one. Well done.