Sarah Sammis's Reviews > Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale
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's review
Jan 13, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: review-copy, read-in-2009
Read 2 times. Last read February 18, 2009.

January and earlier this month I had the fun task of reading the finalists for the Graphic Novels category of the Cybils. I'm relatively new to the genre so it was thrilling to get this chance to experience the best the genre has to offer for 2008. The winner for the Elementary/Middle Grade category is Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Nathan Hale and Dean Hale.

Rapunzel is one of those characters we all grow up on. She's one of the Brothers Grimm best known characters. I though have never seen her dressed like a cow girl and brandishing her hair like a weapon or gallivanting through something recognizably Utah (but not Utah). Nor have I ever seen anyone ask the question I've always wanted answered: "why was she locked in the tower?"

Rapunzel's Revenge starts with the why, quickly answers it and then goes happily on its own tangent that blends the wild west with fantasy and fairy tale elements. Rapunzel hooks up with a chap named Jack and they set out to get revenge (and rescue Rapunzel's mother).

I loved this graphic novel and I hope the three Hales collaborate again. I would love to revisit Rapunzel's world. The novel isn't set up as a continuing series but there's enough wiggle room to add further adventures. The world building is thorough enough to easily carry another story or two. My husband has also read Rapunzel's Revenge and he loved it too. My son likes the illustrations but so far we haven't read the book together. I'm sure we will someday.

On a side note, I love learning unexpected things from books. From Rapunzel's Revenge I learned that rapunzel is an alternate name for a type of lettuce called corn salad (Valerianella locusta). That tidbit of information forms the keystone for the plot. It was a little throw away detail that blossoms here and makes Rapunzel's Revenge stand apart from all of the other versions of the fairy tale I've read.

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